India might be soon added to the list of countries to place an embargo on the use of Huawei networking equipment after the reports of the Chinese company snooping on other countries have surfaced.
Although the Telecom ministry has not issued an official ban yet, Indian telcos might not use Huawei equipment for the core operation of soon to be launched 5G network in India.
According to an ET report, companies like Reliance Jio Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone India might not be using core network equipment from the world’s largest network hardware supplier amidst the growing security concerns and the possibility of the ban.
Many counties, including the United States, have banned the Chinese company after it was found spying and providing Data to the Chinese communist government.
Jio, which already works with South Korean giant for the operation of its 4G network across India, would likely continue the partnership to launch its 5G network. On the other side, Airtel and Vodafone who currently use Huawei and ZTE equipment would have to look for other suppliers like Nokia or Ericsson to power their 5G operations in India.
Notably, the top three telecom companies have already applied for permission to run 5G trials in India. While running trials doesn’t mean that they have finalized the contracts with vendors, they would be taking into account for the running costs and the compliance measures of the new 5G systems.
Vodafone-Idea has kept its options open and applied with both Nokia and Huawei while Airtel has applied with Nokia and Jio is stocking to Samsung for the 5G trials. They would have to file fresh regulatory documents regarding the details of their systems and get clearances on data security, and the fresh data localization norms form the regulatory body.
There has been no official statement from telecom companies as the situation is currently under process and nothing has been finalized yet. But the report highlighted that the telecom companies might follow the pattern set by UK based companies who use the Huawei radio system which is the noncore part of the 5G network and employ servers and core hardware solutions from different manufacture to reduce the risk while keeping costs low.
The servers will form the core part of any 5G network as the data and calls passing through the system will be encrypted by the code saved on these base stations. Earlier this year, there were revelations that Huawei is embedding snooping software in the source code of its serves to spy and access the data of other countries.
In the digital age, data privacy is one of the biggest issues and regulators globally have raised the issues regarding lack of effort on the part of private companies to ensure an end to end data security of its users.