As per industry sources, the government is considering amending the telecom licence norms in March 2021 in an effort to incorporate the guidelines of national security directive on the telecommunication sector. This will enable the government to control installation of network equipment from China and other non-friendly countries.

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

This list will be decided based on the approval of a committee headed by the deputy national security advisor. The committee will consist of members from relevant departments, ministries and will also have two members from the industry and independent experts.

Further, as per sources, the directive does not envisage mandatory replacement of the existing equipment already inducted in the network of telecom operators. Also, it will have no impact on annual maintenance contracts or updates to existing equipment already inducted in the network as on date of effect of the directive.