Members of a parliamentary committee on Tuesday asked senior government officials whether there was a ban on purchasing equipment from Chinese suppliers for 5G infrastructure in India, sources said.
Senior officials from the Ministry of Telecoms and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) were tabled before the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Information and Technology, which is chaired by Congressman Shashi Tharoor .
Representatives from three major telecom companies – Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea – also testified to the panel on Tuesday, which met to deliberate on India’s readiness for 5G.
Members asked senior government officials whether Chinese companies were not allowed to be part of 5G infrastructure in India, the sources said.
However, officials could not confirm whether there is a ban on purchasing telecommunications equipment from Chinese manufacturers for 5G services in India, they said.
Officials told members at the meeting that in theory there is no ban for Chinese companies to participate in 5G services, but like other companies in border countries, they must also go through permissions. additional, the sources said.
Testifying before the panel, telecom operators expressed concern over the delay in the rollout of 5G services in India, the cost and availability of 5G spectrum in the country, they said.
Service providers have made detailed presentations on their readiness to launch 5G services in the country and have stressed the need for faster political clearances in this regard, the sources said.
State-owned telecommunications companies will purchase network equipment in accordance with existing General Financial Rules (GRFs) which impose restrictions on suppliers from countries that share land borders with India, Minister of State Rajya Sabha informed last month. at Telecom, Sanjay Dhotre.
In July, the government amended the 2017 GFR to allow restrictions to be imposed on bidders from countries sharing a land border with India for reasons of defense of India, or for matters directly or indirectly related to it. ci, including national security.
Authorized telecommunications service providers deploy network equipment purchased from various manufacturers, subject to compliance with the terms and conditions stipulated in the license agreement, including security conditions.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd’s (BSNL) tender for the 4G upgrade was canceled after the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) asked the state-owned company not to use Chinese telecommunications equipment, according to a source.
The source familiar with the development said that a new tender will be issued, which will focus on the preference to be made in India.