In the midst of the ongoing military dispute and the border skirmishes with China, the Government of India sources have confirmed that the Department of Telecom has asked BSNL not to use Chinese equipment manufacturer’s gear in the upgradation of its 4G mobile networks in the country. The DoT is also going to rework the 4G telecom equipment tender floated by state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. (MTNL), in order to keep the Chinese company out. India on Wednesday told China that its attack on Indian soldiers at Galwan Valley was 'pre-meditated' and there will be 'consequences'.
It is also believed that the DoT wants private mobile service providers to avoid using network equipment made by Huawei and ZTE. It is believed that persistent reports of security concerns with network equipment manufactured by Huawei, which is believed to enable the Chinese government to snoop in, also played a role in these decisions. There will be a requirement for private mobile companies to also reduce the usage of existing Huawei equipment, if any, gradually. Govt sources also say that the security features and ownership pattern of HUAWEI and ZTE are a sticking point in India’s network upgradation plans.
Huawei is one of the world's leading mobile network equipment manufacturers and competes for the same businesses as European telecom companies Nokia and Ericsson. Huawei is also one of the few companies that are capable of building 5G networks. However, over the past year, a number of countries now see Huawei as a potential threat to cybersecurity and the privacy of their citizens, amidst multiple reports that the company's equipment offers a backdoor to facilitate cyber espionage by the Chinese government, to which it is said to have close links. Huawei have consistently denied such reports.