New Delhi: No telecom operator has entered into partnership with Chinese companies in the communications sector although some foreign firms, including Chinese, have supplied mobile and broadband equipment to them.
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said foreign firms, including Chinese, supply mobile handsets and set top boxes.
"However, as per information available with Department of Telecommunications, none of telecom service providers (TSPs) have entered into partnership with Chinese companies in the communication sector," Prasad said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
However, the minister said, Huawei Telecommunications (India) has been given security clearance by Ministry of Home Affairs to set up a unit for electronics/telecom hardware and support services at Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu.
He said TSPs are allowed to deploy telecom equipment in their network based on their techno-commercial considerations subject to compliance of terms and conditions of license.
"Accordingly, some foreign companies including Chinese companies have entered into communications sector and have supplied mobile and broadband equipment to TSPs," he added.
The minister further said government is aware that in modern age, the telecom equipment and networks used for provisioning of telecom services are prone to spyware/malwares etc, if attempted by the antisocial and anti national elements.
"To ensure that such miscreants are not able to damage/ hamper our telecom infrastructure, a comprehensive security guideline in the form of license amendments have been issued to TSPs on May 5, 2011 in access service license and on June 3, 2011 for other licenses in consultation with Home Ministry and after due deliberations with industry," he added.
Prasad said vide these amendments, it is mandated that TSPs are responsible for the security of their network.
"Thus, a framework has already been mandated to deal with potential threats by the induction of Chinese telecom equipment of from any other source. So far, no specific issue has arisen due to equipment originating from any specific country," he said.
The minister added however that government continues to examine all new developments related to telecom security and regularly reviews the security arrangements in this regard in the light of such developments.