Over 44% of state-run BSNL’s mobile network equipment sourced from Chinese vendor ZTE: Govt

Photo: FE

About 44.4 per cent of mobile network equipment of BSNL, the state-backed telecom operator, is sourced from Chinese vendor ZTE and 9 per cent from Huawei, Parliament was informed by the government.

Finland’s Nokia was the L-1 bidder for the last GSM network expansion project for BSNL, while Chinese giant ZTE was the L-2 bidder, Minister of State for Communications Sanjay Dhotre said.

Dhotre was giving a written reply to MPs’ queries in Parliament.

The telecom service providers procure and deploy telecom equipment based on the vendors’ techno-commercial interests provided they comply with the security provisions given in the license, the minister informed Parliament while replying to a question on the market share of Chinese firms in India.

Dhotre said Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm has not deployed any telecom equipment from ZTE and Huawei in order to provide services.

On the other hand, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) has one-tenth of its mobile network equipment from Chinese vendors.

The minister shared that Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) follows a multi-vendor strategy in order to procure equipment and has always been compliant with the various security-related requirements placed upon it by the telecom department.

Sharing information about Bharti Airtel Limited, the minister said the company uses telecom equipment sourced from several partners including Indian, Chinese, American, European, and follows a multi-vendor approach to build robust and secure networks.