Chinese firm's role in Airtel 4G worries agencies

Chinese firm's role in Airtel 4G worries agencies New Delhi: The country's security agencies are concerned about Chinese telecom equipment provider ZTE managing Bharti Airtel's 4G network, Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora said Wednesday.

"A reference has been received from a security agency expressing that Bharti Airtel, while rolling out the 4G services, is using Time Division-Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) technology, which has been developed by ZTE, a Chinese company," Deora said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

Deora said that the security agency has not given any suggestion but has inquired about the training given by ZTE to the local personnel to handle the 4G network.

The Indian government has mandated that licensee shall induct only those network elements into his telecom network which have got tested as per relevant contemporary Indian or international security standards from any international agency of those standards until March 31, 2013.

From April 1, 2013 the certification shall be got done only from authorised and certified agencies in India.

Further, as per licence condition, the licensee shall employ only resident, trained Indian nationals in the key positions, including that of chief technical officers, chief information security officer and nodal executives for handling interception and monitoring cases.

The information with regard to number of cities in the country where 4G network is managed by ZTE company, is being collected from the telecom service providers, Deora said.

India has been concerned that telecom equipment from Chinese companies may be infected with malware designed to jeopardise national security.

IANS