Telecom licence guidelines tightened

New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) The government has tightened the guidelines for telecom licences, making it mandatory for equipment suppliers to share the software source code and the design details to address security-related concerns, an official statement said Wednesday.

According to the statement, vendors may have to pay penalty of 100 percent of the contract value in case any security breach is detected at a later stage after the equipment is deployed.

In such a case, even the equipment supplied by the vendor will be taken out of service and a penalty of Rs.50 crore will be imposed on the licencee for each purchase order.

According to a Department of Telecommunications (DoT) official, this measure has been taken not only for Chinese vendors but for all suppliers.

Over the last few months, a controversy had arisen after security agencies raised concerns over equipment supplied by Chinese vendors, saying that snooping technology may be embedded in what was supplied.

Indian telecom companies had also approached the DoT on difficulties they were facing in importing equipment from Chinese vendors, which affected their rollout obligations and expansion plans.

The amendment has now cleared the way for telecom operators who were not able to import equipment for the last few months owing to the government’s security clearance procedures.

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