Govt allows to import 3G equipments from China

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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New Delhi, Aug 13: Government agreed to allow import of Chinese-made telecom equipment by leading telecom operators in India.

The decision was taken after Prime Minister's Office (PMO) level talks. By this new instruction the department of telecommunications (DoT) will allow leading operators to import equipments, which have been stuck for over eight months and were menacing the launch of 3G services.

The Dot decision to allow import of telecom equipment after self certification by the telecom operators in Dec 2009 was questioned by intelligence agencies. Later the decision was reviewed and new strictures were added in Jul 2010.

The draft announced in Jul 2010 asked to sign a policy agreement between operators and vendors. The draft included sharing of the source code and design of the equipment in an 'escrow' account.

But this draft policy was attacked by European manufacturers saying that they can't share source code as that was their own intellectual property right.

Now PMO asked DoT to examine whether there is any merit in provisions of the template of the agreement between operators and vendors. PMO has given two months for a solution.

The move will be a breather for Chinese vendors like Huawei and ZTE, as well as Indian telcos like Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices and Uninor, that are looking for cost-effective telecom gear to expand their networks.

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