Vodafone Idea Awards Rs 200 Crore-Network Order To Chinese Firm ZTE

Vodafone Idea has recently awarded a network gear order of around Rs 200 crore to Chinese company ZTE

<div class="paragraphs"><p>A telecom tower. (Photo: David Arrowsmith/Source: Unsplash)</p></div>
A telecom tower. (Photo: David Arrowsmith/Source: Unsplash)

Telecom operator Vodafone Idea has recently awarded a network gear order of around Rs 200 crore to Chinese company ZTE, three sources aware of the development said.

The company has given orders for broadband network equipment in telecom circles of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh, the sources told PTI.

"Vodafone Idea has awarded an order of around Rs 200 crore to ZTE," one of the sources said.

The matter has been brought to the notice of the National Security Council Secretariat, which manages the Trusted Telecom Portal and provides clearance for permissible telecom gears, they added.

An email query sent to Vodafone Idea elicited no response.

Two sources mentioned that the order has been given for Gujarat and MP-CG circles, while one of them mentioned that the order also includes the Maharashtra circle.

The Cabinet Committee on Security on Dec. 16, 2020, approved the National Security Directive on Telecommunication Sector, which mandates service providers to purchase equipment from trusted sources.

Under the provisions of this directive, the government declares a list of trusted sources and products for installation in the country's telecom network.

All works related to the directive are carried through the trusted telecom portal. The list of trusted sources and the product is decided based on the approval of a committee headed by the deputy national security advisor.

The directive, however, does not affect annual maintenance contracts or updates to existing equipment already inducted in the network before the directive came into effect.

After this directive, Chinese players have not been able to secure orders for 5G telecom gear.

An official source said that someone has raised an objection to the award before NSCS, which will look into the matter.