Security concerns on 3G video calls to be resolved soon: Sibal

Security concerns on 3G video calls to be resolved soon: Sibal

New Delhi: Telecom minister Kapil Sibal on Thursday said that the security concerns on third-generation (3G) video calls will be resolved soon.

Last week, the government had asked the leading telecom operators Tata Teleservices and RCom to stop it till they adhered to security norms for its real-time interception.

“Their are security concerns regarding 3G video calls which we are looking into and it will be resolved as soon as possible," Sibal told reporters here.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) and central security agencies had met industry officials and asked them to stop roll out of 3G services till they demonstrate interception facility.

The 3G mobile services mainly include voice call, video calls and data services. In the data services, operators are claiming to offer high-speed internet services and required to offer monitoring facility.

However, the industry had, cried foul saying the two state-owned telecom PSUs -- BSNL and MTNL -- have been offering 3G services since last two-year and these issues were prevalent then also but they were never asked to stop.

The DoT had sent a letter to both TTSL and RCom asking them not to launch 3G services on commercial basis till they demonstrate lawful interception facilities.

The letter had pointed about the shortcomings in interception facilities of video calling on 3G services for the agencies need to be addressed before their launch.

The industry is understood to have pointed out that monitoring facility of video calls was not available anywhere in the world and the operators were talking to vendors to find out a solution.

The government wants real-time interception by which the security agencies could monitor/intercept video calls as it happens.

The contents of such calls were displayed only after five minutes of the completion of these calls as against the requirement of the agencies which want such details and interceptions on real-time basis, official sources said.

During the demonstration carried out by these telecom service providers, it came to light that long duration video calls, both incoming and outgoing, could not be intercepted.