The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Wednesday canceled the anticipated 4G up-gradation tender of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). The new move comes nearly two weeks after the department expressed concerns over the use of Chinese telecom equipment and directed state-owned BSNL and MTNL to not use any China-made gears for 4G rollout.
Huawei and ZTE are notably the two Chinese telecom gear manufacturers that are supplying equipment to Indian telecom operators. With the new movie, the DoT will issue a new tender in the coming weeks.
The fresh tender will emphasize on the “Make in India” program and will exclude Chinese companies, people familiar with the matter told Gadgets 360. The DoT is also said to have plans to promote local manufacturing of telecom gear.
Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US has banned Huawei and ZTE as suppliers for projects under its Universal Service Fund and classified them as security threats.
The Central government had instructed BSNL to not use Chinese equipment for the upgrade, days after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent clash with Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which is likely to cost Rs 7,000-8,000 crore.
HT had earlier reported that the six-committee is headed by a senior DoT official and has representatives from BSNL and MTNL, two independent experts, and another representative from the industry.
Last month, a report by Press Trust of India had said that the DoT wanted BSNL and MTNL to not use Chinese telecom equipment in their 4G upgradation. That report had also mentioned that the department might also “nudge private telecom operators to gradually” reduce their dependence on Chinese equipment.