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India's Source Code Bombshell

Ray Le Maistre
6/25/2010

9:10 AM -- India is a market of great opportunity for the vendor community, but it seems that overseas suppliers will need to jump through increasingly large hoops, and accept some very challenging requirements, to play a role in the multibillion-dollar sector.

With security issues high on the agenda following the recent rumpus surrounding the deployment of technology sourced from China, it seems India's Department of Telecommunications is looking to institute some radical measures that involve vendors placing their technology source code into an escrow account that can be accessed by network operators under certain conditions, reports The Economic Times.

And to make the suggestion even more combustible, many of India's communications networks are these days operated and managed by the professional services divisions of large vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , and Nokia Networks . In theory, then, AlcaLu might get access to Ericsson product source code, if the current suggestions become legal requirements.

Such a scenario would create major dilemmas for the vendors. Even under the most rigorous non-disclosure and security arrangements, which companies would be willing to submit their intellectual property into a third-party database in return for potential business in India?

That could be a tricky one...

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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