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Trusted telecom equipment providers list to be out in October

The first list of trusted telecom equipment providers is expected to be released in the first week of October, Rajesh Pant, the national cyber security coordinator and designated authority for declaring Trusted Sources and Products said on Monday.

“On December 16 last year, the Cabinet approved the landmark national security directive on telecom sector. This stipulated that in future, any equipment connected to the Indian telecom network by the Telecom Service Providers (TSP) has to be a trusted product and the telecom license conditions have been accordingly amended,” he said.

“…Despite the problems due to the pandemic, we have accomplished our first mission in the desired time frame and the portal was launched on June 15, 2021.”

The verification process is done online on the portal is The process starts with the telecom service uploading the details of the product and its Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).

“We first check the antecedents of the OEM and then request them to give details of the components up to active semiconductor level and their sources. This data is verified by a team of government officers from various ministries. Their recommendations are put up to the NSCT which also includes industry and academia members. Approvals of the NSCT are conveyed to the particular TSP who had initiated the request. The entire process has its checks and balances to avoid any mistakes and ensure total secrecy in handling the vast amount of data,” he said.

The development comes in the wake of the government trying to reduce India’s dependence on Chinese telecom products, ever since the clash in Galway Valley in June last year. The safety and security of the country’s data have been among the foremost concerns.

“We are the only nation in the world that decided to implement a positive list of trusted telecom products. A team of about 40 engineers has worked for six months in creating this portal,” Pant said. “The portal also takes into account the source of all the active components inside the equipment and you can imagine the effort we need to put in. The first challenge of the portal being launched on time has been achieved, and we are resolved in making this Directive a success to ensure national security. The world is keenly watching this unique initiative of India.”

He added that the major vendors and their products will be verified and the first list of trusted sources and products is expected to be out in first half of October. After that it will be updated on a monthly basis.

Pant also stressed that any equipment required for maintenance of the existing network is not covered by this directive, dispelling any concerns regarding delays in the sector. “The operators have nothing to worry and even we are concerned not to create any disruptions or impact the ease of doing business in any way…we are also giving one-time exemptions for any urgent cases and the TSPs are satisfied with these actions,” he said. Hindustan Times

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