Bharti wants unrestricted telecom gear imports-CEO

NEW DELHI, May 11 (BestGrowthStock) – Bharti Airtel, India’s top
mobile operator, wants unrestricted import of telecoms equipment
to India and is talking to the government on the issue, its
South Asia chief said on Tuesday.

The government has made it mandatory for telecoms firms to
get security clearance from the telecoms ministry before placing
any equipment purchase order.

Industry sources have said the government is not approving
equipment orders from Chinese vendors on security concerns.
Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL], the biggest Chinese telecom
equipment firm, is working to allay Indian government’s security
concerns. [ID:nTOE644044].

“There has to be a free flow of equipment. That’s absolutely
paramount…because you need capacity and more equipment to
serve so many millions of customers that the networks are
adding,” Sanjay Kapoor, Bharti Airtel’s CEO for India and South
Asia, told Reuters.

“We are talking to the government. The industry is talking
actually. We are hopeful that we will get some positive traction
on that,” he referring to the security clearance issue.

India started overhauling its security system after Islamist
militants killed 166 people in a three-day attack in the
financial hub of Mumbai in November 2008.

The militants used a satellite phone while travelling to
Mumbai by sea and kept in touch with their handlers in Pakistan
on mobile and Internet phones.

Kapoor declined comment when asked if Bharti was facing any
hurdle in getting approval for Chinese-made telecom equipment
and said their major vendors are Ericsson (ERICb.ST: ) and Nokia
Siemens Networks [NSN.UL].

Norway’s Telenor (TEL.OL: ), one of the newest entrants in the
Indian mobile sector, said last week the Indian rules demanding
security clearance from the Indian government had resulted in a
delay in its second launch phase.

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(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Surojit Gupta)

Bharti wants unrestricted telecom gear imports-CEO