It has just come to light that Vodafone Idea (Vi), India’s third-largest telecom operator awarded Huawei add-on contracts worth Rs 400 to Rs 450 crore. Huawei is a Chinese equipment vendor that has helped Indian Telecom operators in rolling out new generation networks for more than a decade now. However, the government of India has been in a row asking the operators to avoid partnering up with Chinese companies to do anything officially since March. According to an ET Telecom report, Vi had awarded Huawei add-on contracts which are not new contracts.
Vodafone Idea’s Latest Contracts for Huawei Not New Ones
As per the publication, the latest contracts awarded to Huawei by Vi weren’t new contracts. Instead, they were just add-on contracts that were offered to supplement the existing projects. Huawei is only helping Vi upgrade the network in the circles where it was already the supplier for the company.
However, Huawei is careful and is supplying equipment to Vi on a limited basis since the telco still already owes the Chinese vendor around Rs 850 crore. Going by the report, Huawei is helping Vi in wireless and wireline upgradation. Huawei received this order from Vi around the same time Bharti Airtel awarded the Chinese vendor a contract.
However, it is worth noting that the add-on order from Vi had already been offered to Huawei before the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) asked the operators to keep Chinese companies at bay.
The operators needed the help of the existing supplier Huawei to upgrade networks before the government came out with the order to ignore Chinese vendors. The most embarrassing thing for Vi here is that Huawei is fulfilling orders in limited quantities.
The Chinese vendor doesn’t trust Vodafone Idea to pay back the due amount completely, and that is why it is cautious with how much money it is getting stuck with the company. Vi gets 4G wireless equipment from Huawei in seven circles of India, including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha, Kerala, and Delhi.
The government is yet to announce the trusted vendor’s list. Most likely, Huawei and ZTE are expected to be excluded from the list. Since the list has not been finalised yet, Huawei would be working, hoping that the Indian government includes it in the list as well.