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RCom told to clarify on GSM service launch in J&K without security nod
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New Delhi, May 3

The Department of Telecom has sought clarification from Reliance Communications as to why the company has started its GSM based mobile services in Jammu and Kashmir without taking clearances from security agencies.

DoT has told the company to comply with the security requirements by demonstrating that its network can be monitored by the intelligence agencies.

According to the conditions specified in the telecom licence, operators are required to set up a network that allows security agencies to snoop around, if required.

The DoT has written the letter to RCom after the Intelligence Bureau said that the company had not demonstrated its network to the security agencies despite repeated reminders.

Reliance officials said that the company had complied with all the conditions specified in the licence and that their network can be monitored by security agencies.

"We are also offering CDMA-based services in J&K, therefore, our network has been designed keeping in mind the requirement of the security agencies. According to the licence, there is no need for us to get separate clearance from the security agencies for our GSM network. We had started the services after intimating the DoT. We are fully compliant with the rules and procedures," said a RCom official.

RCom officials said that the company was offering mobile services for more than 5 years across the country and their network has always been available for the security agencies to monitor if it was required.

DoT had issued a similar letter to Tata Teleservices for launching CDMA services in J&K without demonstrating monitoring capabilities. However, the company has since conducted tests on its network to satisfy the demands of the Intelligence Bureau. DoT sources said that Tata Tele has scheduled another demonstration later this month for the security agencies.

DOT CRACKDOWN

DoT has been cracking down on telecom operators who do not conform to the needs of the national security agencies.

Earlier, DoT had raised concerns with Research In Motion as the security officials could not break into traffic being transmitted through Blackberry devices.

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