Huawei Receives Equipment Clearances in India

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Huawei Technologies has secured an order in India for the rollout of 3G services, signaling that the country's restriction on imports of Chinese telecommunications equipment has been lifted.

The company said on Thursday that it had signed a contract with Tata Teleservices, a large Indian services provider, for the rollout of 3G services in some areas.

India's Department of Telecommunications (DOT) had announced in December and again in July stricter rules on imported telecommunications equipment, citing security concerns. However the agency started reviewing these rules last month at the instance of the Prime Minister's Office, according to sources.

Vendors objected to the new rules because, among other things, they required suppliers to give the government access to the equipment's source code and designs. A stand-off between the DOT and vendors could delay 3G rollouts by service providers, the sources said.

Nokia Siemens said last month that orders for its equipment from service providers have started getting cleared by the DOT under earlier less stringent rules. It wasn't clear last month whether this easement was being extended to Chinese suppliers. The DOT had stalled clearances for imports of equipment from Chinese vendors from earlier this year.

Tata Teleservices won spectrum in nine service areas in an auction earlier this year. The spectrum was awarded to the company and some other winning bidders on Sept. 1.

Tata Teleservices also announced last month the selection of Nokia Siemens as a supplier for its 3G rollout. The business from the nine service areas will be shared equally between Huawei and Nokia Siemens, a spokesman for Tata Teleservices said on Thursday.

Tata Teleservices has Japan's NTT DoCoMo as a key shareholder with a stake of 26 percent.

Having received its first order for 3G services rollout in the country, Huawei now expects other orders from service providers for 3G and 2G rollouts to also get cleared soon, a company spokesman said.

The relaxation of rules appears to have benefited both Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese vendor. Tata Teleservices has for example received clearances for orders on both these Chinese vendors, the Tata Teleservices spokesman said.

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