Tata Tele fumes over security nod to non-Chinese equipment

Written by Anandita Singh Mankotia | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 30 2010, 06:54am hrs
Tata Teleservices has cried foul over the governments move of giving security clearance only to telecom equipment from non-Chinese vendors and over allotting the broadband wireless spectrum before 3G spectrum. It has asked the government to ensure a level playing field for all operators.

The telco has written to the department of telecommunications (DoT) secretary PJ Thomas stating that both these issues would result in non-level playing field. While all successful bidders for 3G have received the letter of intent on the same date and having commitment of getting spectrum on the same date, should also have the level playing field to order 3G up-gradation of existing 2G networks at the same time, TTSL has said. It has asked the government to allow 3G equipment ordering at the same time for all the successful operators once the revised guidelines for security clearance of equipments is ready.

According to the company, DoT is currently giving security clearance to applications for procurement of equipment from non-Chinese vendors based on self-certification and therefore same should apply for procurement from Chinese vendors as well. The company has complained that this was creating a non-level playing field for operators like it vis-a-vis those operators who had used 2G equipment from European vendors as this was a natural upgrade option.

According to the Notice Inviting Application, while the 3G spectrum winners have had to pay the entire bid amount within 10 days of the completion of the auction, the spectrum would be given to all the operators simultaneously and the operators may render 3G service only from September 1 on a commercial basis. However the delay in giving security clearance means that some operators would have their networks up and ready before the ones who are importing equipment from the Chinese vendors.

The DoT announced last week that BWA winners would soon be allotted the spectrum since unlike the 3G spectrum which the defence is yet to vacate, the BWA spectrum is already with the DoT.