Nepal Telecom’s core system under Huawei’s control despite technical sensitivity


May 19, 2023


Nepal Telecom’s core system under Huawei’s control despite technical sensitivity

KATHMANDU: Nepal Telecom’s core system has become heavily reliant on China’s Huawei Company for its procurement system, disregarding the technical sensitivity associated with such a decision.

The Chinese company Huawei has established a monopoly over the technology used by Nepal Telecom, a government-owned telecommunications company.

Nepal Telecom has been not only offering operational services but is likely to provide sensitive technical systems to Chinese companies.

Especially when Huawei is dominant, its impact is seen even in daily services.

A telecom company typically consists of two main parts: the access network and the core network. The access network comprises the power, transmission, and radio axis networks, while the core system forms an integral part of the overall infrastructure.

The core system is where the management and storage of all activity is done while the frequency is propagated through the network.

Both the access network and the core network of Nepal Telecom are predominantly reliant on Huawei technology. In addition to Huawei’s technology being present in the core network system of 4G, the Chinese company ZTE plays a significant role at the core of 4G technology.

Huawei is not only responsible for providing network equipment and core systems but also plays a role in maintenance and support services for Nepal Telecom’s telecommunications infrastructure.

Due to the significant reliance on Huawei technology and its involvement in various aspects of Nepal Telecom’s infrastructure, it can be inferred that Huawei has access and control over a substantial amount of telecom data.

Huawei has actively promoted the implementation of 5G technology, and as a result, Nepal Telecom’s technological landscape is now heavily dependent on Huawei for its 5G infrastructure. With the adoption of 5G, Huawei’s involvement in Nepal Telecom’s technology becomes even more comprehensive and integral to its operations.

Huawei is responsible not only for network and core systems but also for maintenance. With so much control by one company, Huawei has access and control over all telecom data.

Huawei has accelerated the testing of 5G in the border area with India as well.

Meanwhile, it should be noted that the Nepal Telecom has engaged in a repair agreement with Asian Info, a Chinese company that has been known to encounter issues in the billing system on multiple occasions.

Despite the past challenges, Nepal Telecom has decided to entrust Asian Info with the maintenance responsibilities, at a cost of Rs 3 billion for a period of four years, with the option to extend the agreement for an additional year.

Asian Info has connected the current billing system with Telecom.

Since then, the company has been responsible for the maintenance of the continuous system.

However, the recent investigation report of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has also shown that the company has installed a decade-old ‘outdated billing system’, due to which the telecom network has been going down several times.

According to telecom source, it has been found that more than 3 billion amount is not reflected in the billing every year due to problems in the billing system.