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It has been reported that BSNL is geared up to grant equipment contract to Huawei in order to widen its internet network across the country. According to the Economic Times, there are concerns over security in hiring telecom equipment from the Chinese vendor. Top executives revealed to the newspaper that BSNL's core IP network is excellent at handling data, video as well as voice traffic.
It is considered as the ‘principal communication backbone' which carries important and sensitive data belonging to Indians for a variety of initiatives such as government's Aadhar program, NOFN (National Optic Fiber Network) and National Knowledge Network.
The concerns over the security have been due to the recent revelation in the U.S. about Huawei. US House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee head had warned the companies in US against conducting business with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd since they suspected the trading of equipments with the company could lead to spying.
Huawei Technologies, based in China, is a leading manufacturer of equipments for telecommunications. Such a report and revelation can strike hard at the company's ambitions to expand. ZTE, another telecommunications equipment manufacturer, based in Shenzhen in China, had also come under the radar along with Huawei. Security risks due to the equipments of ZTE were the cited reasons.
Indian government has given no final word regarding the recent US report on Huawei. R K Upadhyay, chairman and M.D. of BSNL said the company follows the security guidelines laid down by the Department of Telecommunications. He said that the process is executed as per the procurement manual of the company. However, it has been reported that BSNL was left with no choice in choosing the vendors as the only bidders were Huawei and ZTE.