On June 15, 2021, the Government(govt) launched the Trusted Telecom Portal as a part of the national security directive on the telecommunications sector under the National Security Directive on Telecommunication Sector (NSDTS) to declare a list of trusted sources and products for installation in the country’s telecom networks.
- The portal was developed and implemented by CDoT (Centre for Development of Telematics), an R&D (Research and development) unit of the Government along with RailTel and the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS).
- Objective: To ensure the security of telecom networks, especially with fifth-generation (5G) service and to discourage the use of China-made gear in the country’s core networks (especially Huawei).
- Amendment: The govt has amended the telecom licence norms in March 2021, for the provision of telecommunication services by the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs).
- June 15, 2021 onwards TSPs were mandated to connect in their networks only with those new devices which are designated as Trusted Products from Trusted Sources.
Key Features of the Portal:
i.Access: The TSPs and Vendors were provided with access to log into the Trusted Telecom Portal to enlist their products.
ii.Listing of Products and source: The details of telecom products and the vendor from whom they intend to procure the products, their critical components, and sources will be populated into the portal by the TSPs and respective vendors.
iii.Assessment: The vendors and the sources of the components will be assessed to determine the Trusted Sources and Trusted products, which are then intimated to the vendor concerned and the applicant TSPs to make their procurements.
iv.Designated Authority: The National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCSC) is the Designated Authority (DA) for the determination of the inclusion of a vendor as a Trusted Source, of a Telecom product. It makes the determination based on approval of ‘National Security Committee on Telecom (NSCT) which is headed by the Deputy National Security Advisor (NSA).
v.The current directive will not affect ongoing Annual Maintenance Contracts (AMC) as it does not mandate replacement of existing equipment already operational with the telecom service providers.
Note – ‘Trusted Products’ are products whose critical components and the products themselves are sourced from Trusted Sources.
Recent Related News:
Reliance’s Jio Platforms, the largest telecom operator in India, plans to roll out a 5G network in the country in the second half of 2021. It was announced by Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani. However, India has yet to grant spectrum for 5G network to telecom networks in the country.
About Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT):
Establishment – 1984
Parent Department– Department of Telecommunications (DoT)
Executive Director – Rajkumar Upadhyay
About National Security Directive on Telecommunication Sector (NSDTS):
In December 2020 the cabinet approved the formation of NSDTS, to check any vulnerabilities in the telecom networks and avoid illegal information extraction and passing. It classifies the sources into trusted and not trusted categories. It was headed by the deputy NSA
National Security Advisor(NSA) – Ajit Doval