Keep Huawei, ZTE out of national optic fibre grid, says C-DoT

Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT), the State-run research & development organisation, has told the Department of Telecom (DoT) to keep out Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE from the Rs 20,000-crore National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN) project.

“Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE are not allowed to compete for tenders in the US based on security risk. Their equipment is not being used in most telecom networks of advanced countries like US, Canada, Europe and Australia. It may be worthwhile to look into options of isolating such companies in NOFN roll-out tenders,” a letter from the C-DoT to the DoT Secretary stated.

Though the Chinese companies have repeatedly refuted allegations of security concerns, many agencies have raised this issue in different countries. Recently John Suffolk, Huawei’s Global security chief, told Business Line that the Chinese company was open to any scrutiny to dispel these concerns.

In-house GPON

The C-DoT has added that it has developed cutting-edge technology called Gigabit capable Passive Optical Network (GPON) which can be used for the optic fibre cable project. “In order to avoid any implementation roadblocks, usage of C-DoT GPON systems for the optical fibre project is the best option as suggested by the high level committee. In this option price discovery may not be an issue as already 7-8 manufacturers are fully geared up to manufacture and offer these systems to competitive bidding,” C-DoT said.

GPON technology is used for broadband connectivity over optical fibre. C-DOT has indigenously designed and developed GPON technology, which can be used to provide triple play (voice, video and data) through fibre-based networks.

The present GPON standards specify 2.5 gbps (gigabit per second) downstream and 1.25 gbps upstream data capability to customer premise.

Seeks POLICY change

C-DoT has sought changes in the notified manufacturing policy to give preferential access to indigenous products. It said that though the reservation for locally made products is good, Indian companies should not be asked to match the price being offered on imported goods.