Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd's (BSNL) and and the Mahanagar Telecom Nagam Limited (MTNL) tender for 4G upgrade has been cancelled after the Department of Telecom (DoT) asked the state-run firms not to use Chinese telecom gear. A source privy to the development told news agnecy PTI that a new tender will be floated which will have emphasis on preference to Make in India.
Reportedly, the government had told BSNL and MTNL not to use Chinese equipment in 4G upgrade, and that implementation of the direction meant that the company had to issue a new tender. Keeping in view the developing Indian capacity and in-house technology, a new tender will be floated which will have emphasis on preference to Make in India.
The move is part of government's push to reduce reliance of India’s telecom sector on foreign equipment and increase domestic manufacturing. Nearly 75 per cent of the telecom equipment is sourced from and provided by two major players — ZTE and Huawei.
The development comes in the backdrop of India banning 59 Chinese apps, including the likes of TikTok and UC Browser, on Monday because of security and data breach concerns.