Trade group, Telecom News, ET Telecom


NEW DELHI: The Telecom Committee of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) on Saturday in a letter to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said that depositing of source code for core and radio access network (RAN) to an Escrow account, would give full control to the Indian government against any current and prospective misuse of fourth generation or 4G devices for snooping.

“We do understand that we, the Indian manufacturers having been always sidelined from the bulk of the 4G telecom business of Core and RAN, may not be able to match the pricing of the hugely competitive, subsidized, politically and militarily motivated technologies developed by the Chinese and Americans etc,” Sandeep Aggarwal, mentor – Telecom Committee at PHDCCI said.

State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has come out with a fresh notice inviting tenders (NIT) for 57,000 sites as it seeks to launch commercial 4G services across India soon.

Further, Aggarwal said that the current decision on top of the government’s “National Directive on Security” would ensure the Indian companies do not lose out of the business and that even it would help India not lose out from the availability of indigenous technologies.

It also said that buying indigenous technologies through BSNL at higher cost, will lead to billions of dollars worth of additional GDP and huge tax collection in the technology and manufacturings sector within a few years.

“The company must own or have unrestricted, irrevocable access and license to modify the source code and provide software support for all future versions, and the source code for core as well as RAN should be deposited in Escrow account,” BSNL in a notice inviting proposals said.

The multinational vendors were already against any demand of source code by the Indian government.

Earlier, Swedish gear maker Ericsson said that certifying software or hardware does not mean it is flawless, and un-noticed imperfections of testing lead to a false sense of security.

“It is in fact virtually not possible to produce software that is free of all known vulnerabilities,” an Ericsson executive in a letter to DoT secretary Anshu Prakash last year said.

Delhi-based Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) earlier said that since the source code constitutes commercially valuable, confidential and sensitive information, its submission for security testing is not necessary to address security requirements due frequent software delivery on the networks and mobile devices.

The revised notice inviting tender, according to homegrown companies, is in line with their demands.

State-owned telco would test the quality of Indian telecom equipment through a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) before seeking final submissions from indigenous manufacturers for 4G gear supply.


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