After making hue and cry about the presence of Chinese army in Pak Occupied Kashmir (POK), the government is now offering a Chinese company with alleged links with Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) to set up government-owned BSNL’s network in the sensitive state of Jammu and Kashmir.
On August 30, BSNL floated a tender of 5.5 million lines of GSM network in Northern and Eastern zones including Jammu and Kashmir, North East and Assam.
Besides companies like Ericsson, ZTE, Nokia Siemens Network (NSN) and Alcatel Lucent, bids are also invited from Huawei, which has been under scrutiny of Intelligence agencies.
The tender says: “…sealed tenders, on rupee payment basis, are invited on two stage bidding system from M/s Alcatel-Lucent India Limited, M/s Ericsson India Private Ltd., M/s Huawei Telecommunications ( ) Co. Pvt Ltd, M/s Nokia Siemens Networks Private Limited and M/s ZTE Telecom India Private Limited …..”,
Successful bidder will roll out network in North and East zones covering the circles of J&K, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, UP(East), UP(West), Uttaranchal in the North zone and Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Kolkata Telecom District, Assam, NE-I, NE-II, Andaman & Nicobar, Orrisa circles in East zone.
Earlier, security agencies had said that Huawei is controlled by People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and is threat to India’s national security.
This was one of the reasons that BSNL had to cancel its tender of 93 million lines as Huawei’s removal left Ericsson as the only bidder in some circles.
However, last month the government came out with new security guidelines. The new guidelines make it mandatory for the vendors to submit their source codes in an escrow account.