DoT red tape blocks import of USD500m of telecoms gear

10 Jun 2013

The Wireless Planning Cell (WPC), a division of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), has held up the import of approximately USD500 million worth of telecom equipment by failing to issue clearances, the Economic Times writes. Applications to import equipment from international vendors such as Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei have reportedly been languishing in the regional licence offices of the WPC for between 300 and 400 days, threatening network expansion and improvement work. NSN confirmed the problem and Sandeep Bhargava, corporate affairs head at NSN India was quoted as saying: ‘We are facing procedural delays in obtaining clearances from the WPC. This can impact the rollout by our customers … We are in discussion with the DoT and hope to see faster clearance and issuance of the requisite licences.’