India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Wednesday rejected a 4G upgrade tender filed by state-run telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).
With the rejection, DoT, a subsidiary of India's federal Ministry of Communication, has bought itself a little more time before it issues “fresh specifications” for the 4G network upgrade process.
Citing “official sources”, Hindustan Times reported that in the next two weeks, a six-member committee will revisit India's upgrade process requirements, which are likely to exclude all Chinese tech players like Huawei and ZTE from the process.
Breaking: BSNL 4G upgradation tender formally cancelled by DoT. Chinese companies are likely to be excluded in the fresh tender from providing equipment, DoT officials told @HindustanTimes.— Deeksha Bhardwaj (@deekbhardwaj) July 1, 2020
The news comes just two days after India banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok and UC Browser among others, citing national security reasons. The ban on the apps is part of the aftermath of a violent face-off between soldiers from India and China along the border in the Ladakh region.
In addition to the border tensions, India also witnessed a 300 percent spike in China-backed hack attacks, Singapore-based cyber research firm Cyfirma revealed in its latest report.
Amid the chaos, the Indian government is rapidly pulling out of multi-million dollar projects with China. Indian analysts have also said that India must refrain from letting China get too involved in the high speed internet-enabled future of India’s tech infrastructure.
Earlier this month, the central government had instructed BSNL to not rely on equipment from Chinese players for 4G upgrades after India lost 20 soldiers in the Galvan Valley face-off.
The move is also in accordance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making India self-sufficient, and reducing the country’s dependency on other nations for its development.
In a bid to create pockets of high speed-enabled developments in defence, smart cities, and healthcare projects, India Telephone Industries (ITI) recently partnered with multi-billion dollar IT services player Tech Mahindra to collaborate on 4G and 5G networks.