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New Indian Telecom Rules Attacked

Telecom companies and trade groups around the world have criticised the new security regulations implemented by the Indian governments on foreign telecommunication companies.

The foreign companies have urged the Indian government to soften the regulations as they fear that the new systems will set a precedent for more oppressive security norms in the future.

News agency the Associated Press reports that around 20 telecom firms from US, Europe and Japan have written to the Indian commerce and technology ministers, imploring them to remove the intrusive norms implemented by the country, describing the latest proposal a "non-starter".

India, the fastest growing mobile phone market in the world, has a vast telecom network, comprising of mostly mobile phones, not landlines.

The Indian government, fearing infiltration by foreign powers into its communications sector, has implemented new, stringent security norms and guidelines, which make it difficult for foreign equipment makers to approval to operate on time, thus delaying projects worth billions of dollars.

According to the latest rules announced by the country's telecom department last week, foreign telecom equipment makers will have to submit to regular security checks and share their network design and key source codes with Indian security agencies.

If a company fails to comply with the norms then it runs the risk of being blacklisted and hit with substantial fines.