The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has urged for a ‘trusted source’ approval mandate to be applied on all network elements including connected devices, in order to ensure a uniform level of security. The current equipment used for non-licenced telecom services do not require following the trusted source mandate, but the potential for harm being caused by malware or virus is still large. 

The telecom industry requires equipment like routers, switches, sensors and smart meters to use in unlicenced communication services and services like Wi-Fi, to be included under the mandate of trusted sources. A letter was sent previously requesting the Department of Telecommunications to enlarge the trusted source mandate. The telecom operators in India will have to get approval as a ‘trusted’ source from the National Security Council Secretariat in order to be selected. The trusted source mandate was put in place to keep a check on Chinese telecom vendors, aiming at safeguarding the telecom networks after the heightened tensions between India and China.