Chinese Telecom Giant Huawei Receives Rs 150 Crore Contract To Maintain Bharti Airtel's Transmission Network: Report

by Bhaswati Guha Majumder - Feb 8, 2022 05:32 PM +05:30 IST
Chinese Telecom Giant Huawei Receives Rs 150 Crore Contract To Maintain Bharti Airtel's Transmission Network: ReportChinese telecommunications giant Huawei. (Picture: Twitter)
Snapshot
  • The contract is a welcome relief for the Chinese firm, which has been questioned over its continued role in the Indian telecom sector, particularly its participation in the country's forthcoming 5G network deployments, following claims of cyber-snooping on behalf of the Chinese government.

Chinese telecom giant Huawei has reportedly received an order worth roughly Rs 150 crore for the maintenance of Bharti Airtel's transmission network.

The contract with Huawei is part of Airtel's continuous effort to enhance and expand its National Long Distance (NLD) network, which is currently managed by the Chinese company. Notably, Airtel gave Huawei a similar contract worth Rs 300 crore last year.

As reported, according to people acquainted with the agreement, Airtel issued the new purchase order in accordance with the National Security Council Secretariat's (NSCS) current procedures.

The contract is a welcome relief for the Chinese firm, which has been questioned over its continued role in the Indian telecom sector, particularly its participation in the country's forthcoming 5G network deployments, following claims of cyber-snooping on behalf of the Chinese government.

Huawei was expected to become the world’s largest smartphone maker by the end of 2019. But the growth graph began to decline after the company started to face several accusations over the years for its shady business practices. But Huawei has vehemently denied any misconduct on its part.

Recently, the company announced that it has filed a World Bank Group arbitration case against Sweden after the Nordic government barred the company from deploying its 5G devices in the country.

Pressure on Huawei has risen in the last year or so, owing to rising China-India border tensions and concerns over its supply chain as a result of sanctions from the United States. It should be noted that the American government placed Huawei on a trade blacklist in May 2019, citing the company's alleged ties to Beijing as a national security threat.

Over the previous 15-18 months, Huawei has been losing significant wireless business from Bharti Airtel, which has replaced it with European vendors in two circles.

However, as reported by the Economic Times, ZTE, another telecom giant which is based in China’s Shenzhen, has been awarded a $2 million contract by Vodafone Idea for a similar expansion. According to the report, sources claimed that Huawei did not accept purchase orders from Vodafone Idea because of payment concerns.

It was also reported that both telecom operators, Bharati Airtel and Vodafone Idea, are issuing fresh purchase orders for network upgrades and expansion after receiving approval from authorities, at a time when the NSCS has not accorded any company a "trusted product" approval.

However, telecom equipment makers such as Nokia, Cisco, Ciena, Tejas, and HFCL, for example, recently received trusted sources approval from the designated authorities, whereas Huawei and ZTE were in the course of completing the documentation process to be eligible for new deployment approval in the country.

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