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DoT extends network gear purchase restriction to satellite services

Companies providing satellite connectivity services through gateway set-up in India will have to install network equipment as recommended by the government, according to new norms issued by the Department of Telecom (DoT).

At present, only BSNL has installed a satellite gateway through which it provides satellite-based communication services to authorised agencies like security forces, oil companies etc.

As per the new norms, National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCSC ) will be the designated authority that can impose conditions for the procurement of telecom equipment on the grounds of ‘Defence of India’ or matters directly related to national security.

DoT had already announced similar restrictions on telecom operators as well as internet service providers last month.

‘In pursuance of condition 5.1, chapter 1 the licensor hereby amends the provision and operation of satellite based services using gateway installed in India under ‘sui-generis’ licence agreement…’ DoT said in the amendment to the licence agreement for procurement of telecom equipment.

The amendment was done on March 11 but updated on DoT website on Monday. As per the new norms, with effect from June 15, such satellite service operators will be required to take permission from NCSC for upgradation of existing networks, utilising the telecom equipment not designated as trusted products.

The amendment is in line with the National Security Directive on Telecommunication Sector which mandates all telecom service providers to install equipment from only government-approved vendors and sources.

‘Designated authority shall notify the categories of equipment for which the security related to Trusted sources are applicable. For the said categories of equipment designated authority shall notify the trusted sources along with the associated telecommunication equipment (trusted products),’ DoT said.

However, according to the amendment, these directions will not affect the ongoing annual maintenance contracts or updates to existing equipment already induced in the network as on date of effect.

The DoT announced similar amendments in INSAT-MSS reporting services licence and VSAT CUG licence agreements. Yahoo News India

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