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[liberationtech] The Economic Times of India: 'Suspicious' Huawei to help set up telecom lab in India

Frederick FN Noronha फ्रेडरिक नोरोन्या *فريدريك نورونيا fredericknoronha at gmail.com
Sun Jun 26 03:03:12 PDT 2011


I wonder how much of this reflects the new face of the Cold War, national
interests, global geo-politics, and just good old plain business rivalries.
FN

FN +91-832-2409490 or +91-9822122436 (after 2pm)
#784 Nr Lourdes Convent, Saligao 403511 Goa India
http://fn.goa-india.org http://goa1556.goa-india.org

On 26 June 2011 09:52, Alexander Rea <alexander at alexanderrea.com> wrote:

> I am a fan of history. Especially the global landscape shaped post-WWII.
> When colonial rule ended in British India and the following formation of the
> new India and Pakistan. Each country has had good and bad times with the PRC
> and arguably worse times between their borders. I find it very clever that
> PRC firms are supporting India telcos and providing combat vehicles to
> Pakistan. Playing both sides. I think everyone should do their own quick
> research on the history of these countries.
>
> @AlexanderRea
>
> On Jun 25, 2011, at 10:19 PM, Rebecca MacKinnon <
> rebecca.mackinnon at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
> <http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-06-23/news/29694671_1_telecom-gear-telecom-equipment-chinese-vendors>
> http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-06-23/news/29694671_1_telecom-gear-telecom-equipment-chinese-vendors
>
> 'Suspicious' Huawei to help set up telecom lab in India
> Joji Thomas Philip, ET Bureau Jun 23, 2011, 11.21am IST
>
> NEW DELHI: Rather like letting the fox to guard the henhouse, India plans
> to entrust a Chinese company with a crucial role in helping ferret out spy
> software hidden in imported telecom gear.
>
> Huawei Technologies, a major supplier to Indian mobile phone firms and the
> object of the Indian government's suspicion, has been enlisted to provide
> knowhow and equipment for a facility that will be a clearing house for all
> imported telecom gear, the draft of an agreement shows.
>
> Huawei and the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, where the testing
> lab will be housed, will soon sign a memorandum of understanding under which
> the Chinese company will provide "documentation, expertise, methods and
> standards for studying telecom equipment," a government official said.
>
>  India was compelled to take the help of the Chinese company because no
> Indian firm makes telecom gear and no other foreign company was willing to
> assist because of worries about intellectual property rights, the official
> said.
>
> Huawei is the world's second-largest telecom gearmaker after Ericsson, with
> 2010 revenues of $28 billion (Rs 1.27 lakh crore). The government has been
> suspicious that it and another Chinese company, ZTE, could use the telecom
> equipment they supply to snoop on India and even launch cyber attacks.
>
> The lab at IISc is being built solely to address the concerns of
> intelligence and security agencies about the Chinese vendors. "In order for
> IISc to perform certain studies in respect of telecom equipments, IISc shall
> be requiring detailed understanding about various features, standards and
> related documentation. Huawei...agrees to share some information, knowledge,
> software, hardware and equipments with IISc for its studies," says the MoU,
> seen by ET.
>
> It also says that both of them can visit each other's facilities, including
> Huawei's manufacturing plants and logistics centres. The IISc centre was
> given funding by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in the 2010-11 budget. It
> is being modelled after the China Information Technology Certification
> Centre that operates and maintains a national evaluation and certification
> scheme  for that country's IT and telecom security.
>
>  A pilot lab has started functioning in Bangalore and a fullfledged centre
> is likely to be established in next three years after the approval of the
> Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, minister of state for communications
> and IT Gurudas Kamat told Parliament in May 2010. Just a year ago, Huawei
> and ZTE were battling to avoid being banned from the world's largest market
> for telecom equipment.
>
> Beginning February 2010 for six months, the home ministry refused to clear
> telecom equipment contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars allotted
> to Chinese firms on fears that these companies had the capabilities of
> installing spyware and malware that could monitor voice and data traffic and
> disable networks. This delay disrupted the expansion plans of several mobile
> service providers.
>
>  Imports from Chinese vendors resumed only in August 2010 after Huawei and
> ZTE agreed to comply with new rules that make it necessary for foreign
> equipment companies to put their software in the equivalent of a sealed
> envelope to be opened by Indian authorities only in the event of a security
> threat.
>
> In the same month, Huawei, founded by Chinese army veteran Ren Zhengfei,
> revealed details of its shareholding to the Indian government in what it
> said was an unprecedented disclosure.
>
> India is the world's largest market for international vendors. Sales of
> telecom equipment are expected to increase from $12.5 billion in 2009-10 to
> $40 billion in 2020, according to telecom regulator Trai. On Wednesday,
> telecom journal Voice & Data said revenues of Huawei and ZTE in India fell
> by 23.5% and 12.8%, respectively, for the twelve months to March 2011 after
> they were barred for several months last year from supplying equipment to
> companies here.
>
> Huawei's India sales were Rs 5,688 crore while for ZTE it was Rs 4,118
> crore. Nokia Siemens overtook Ericsson with annual revenues of Rs 6,117
> crore to be the largest equipment vendor in India.
>
> A Huawei spokesperson declined to comment on the pact, but an executive
> close to the company confirmed that a deal had been struck. The person added
> that the move to share IPR and commercially sensitive information with a
> statefunded research agency here would go a long way in bridging the trust
> deficit.
>
>
>
>  Rebecca MacKinnon
> Schwartz Senior Fellow, New America Foundation
> Co-founder, <http://GlobalVoicesOnline.org>GlobalVoicesOnline.org
> Cell: +1-617-939-3493
> E-mail: <rebecca.mackinnon at gmail.com>rebecca.mackinnon at gmail.com
> <http://RConversation.blogs.com>RConversation.blogs.com
> facebook.com/rmackinnon
> Twitter: @rmack
>
>
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