oppn parties Telecom Equipment From Government Certified Sources Only

News Snippets

  • Supreme Court approves two-child norm for government jobs in Rajasthan
  • DMK issues rocket ad with Chinese flag, PM Modi slams party
  • BJP alleges that Congress workers raised slogans like 'Pakistan jindabad' outside Karnataka assembly after the results for the RS polls were declared. CM Siddaramaiah promises stern action if claim found true
  • Calcutta HC says any agency can arrest absconding Sandeshkhali TMC strongman Sk Shahjahan
  • Himachal Pradesh Speaker suspends 15 BJP MLAs for unruly behaviour
  • Joint teams of Navy, NCB and Gujarat ATS seized a boat with 3200kgs of narcotics in high seas off Gujarat coast. Five crew members were also arrested
  • Centre tells Supreme Court that economic disaster will follow if states are allowed to tax mineral land
  • NCLT asks Byju's to keep rights issue funds in a different account
  • Sunil Bharti Mittal of Bharti Enterprises was conferred the honorary Knighthood by Britain's King Charles III for services rendered in furthering business relations between the UK & India
  • RIL to merge Viacom18 with Disney's Star in $8.5bn deal, Nita Ambani to lead the board of merged entity
  • Vodafone Idea shares fall nearly 15% over fears of huge fund raising
  • Stock markets crash on Wednesday: Sensex loses 790 points to 72304 and Nifty 247 points to 21951
  • BCCI gets tough, removes Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan from central contracts for missing Ranji Trophy. In a first, it starts fast bowling contracts to reward emerging players like Akash Deep and four others
  • Tennis: Sumit Nagal loses in first round of Dubai Duty Free tournament
  • WPL: UP Warriorz beat Mumbai Indians by 7 wickets
Bengal police arrests TMC leader Sk Shahjahan, the prime accused in the Sandeshkhali disturbances
oppn parties
Telecom Equipment From Government Certified Sources Only

By Ashwini Agarwal
First publised on 2020-12-18 08:01:10

After India had banned mobile apps originating in China over security concerns, it was logical for it to do the same for telecom equipment manufacturers. Since these decisions are being taken keeping the security of the nation in mind, it makes sense to have a list of "India trusted source" for procuring telecom equipment.

The telecom sector, apart from allowing people to stay in touch with each other and the outer world, also serves as the backbone of the modern economy as well as the defense services. Hence, it is necessary that such supplies come from trusted sources. There are many ways faulty or engineered telecom equipment can disrupt services and cripple the economy and not all Chinese companies can be trusted in this regard. The recent cyberattack on Australian networks is fresh in public memory.

With the country on the verge of advancing to 5G networks, care has to be taken to ensure that the new backbone is not exclusively dependent of Chinese suppliers. Although Chinese products are cheaper, reliability is an issue and it cannot be overlooked. The cost of setting up the backbone will go up for the companies as they will now have to source their material from European, American or Korean suppliers.

But that is a small price to pay for having a robust and trustworthy network that will be immune to data breaches and cyberattacks. Given the importance of telecom networks for the economy and the security apparatus, even the smallest slip can turn out to be very costly. Hence, the government must be commended for taking measures to identify and list reliable companies which can supply equipment to telecom networks in India.

But will Indian companies be able to absorb the additional cost (which is going to be substantial)? They are already suffering huge losses and will also have to pay the disputed AGR dues over the next 10 years? Profit margins are also very thin as India has the lowest telecom tariff in the world. The market is also very competitive. The government should work out a financial package for the sector to enable it to keep up with technological advances and maybe rework the licensing agreements to exclude other income from AGR to give the companies some breathing space.