India Set for Source Code U-Turn

9:25 AM -- The current security pressure on foreign equipment manufacturers wanting to do business in India may be about to ease slightly as reports suggest the government has decided to relax one of its more contentious new rules.

According to The Economic Times, the government will no longer insist that technology source code be provided by overseas manufacturers (and held in escrow by a third party) as a prerequisite for doing business in India. (See India's Source Code Bombshell.)

However, equipment vendors would still be required to provide details of data recovery software modules that can be used by the Indian authorities in the event of a mobile network outage or security breach.

The source code issue has been brewing for months, ever since, following security concerns that held up equipment procurement procedures earlier this year, the Indian Government introduced new technology clearance rules. (See India Clears Way for Chinese Imports.)

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) protested vehemently against the rule, and refused to share its source code. This was the main reason why the Swedish giant did not participate in the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) GSM tender. (See Ericsson Balks at Source-Code Rule and Ericsson Holds Back on BSNL Bid.)

— Gagandeep Kaur, India Editor, Light Reading

pdonegan67 12/5/2012 | 4:19:51 PM
re: India Set for Source Code U-Turn

My sense about Ericsson's position on this is not that the company "protested vehemently". Rather the sense I got was one of assured confidence on Ericsson's part that this source-code exposure idea was one that was going to blow over and that it didn't need to go along with it in order to secure its position in the Indian mobile infrastructure market. If the Economic Times report is right then we might conclude that Ericsson's assured confidence is proving to have been well placed. But I would certainly think of it as assured confidence rather than vehement protest.

Sign In