India Keeps China Out of Telecom PLI Scheme: Report

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India telecom PLI scheme

The Indian government had earlier announced the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the telecom sector worth Rs 12,200 crore. Now, as per a report from the CNBC-Awaaz, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is going to issue the final guidelines for the scheme in 1 to 2 days.

The telecom department will soon start inviting the interested companies for submitting applications for the scheme. The application window will be open for the companies for a 1-year period until June 15, 2021. However, Chinese companies have been excluded from the scheme.

Minimum Investment of Rs 100 Crore

The PLI scheme outlays that the companies will need to invest Rs 100 crore at least to be a part of the scheme against which they will receive a 4% or 6% incentive. The scheme will include the production of 4G/5G core equipment, wireless equipment, and radio access network (RAN), Internet-of-Things (IoT), and more.

The department was expected to start inviting applications for the scheme in January this year; however, it got delayed due to unknown reasons.

The PLI scheme for the telecom sector would allow the telecom service providers (TSPs), including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea (Vi), and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) purchase their equipment directly from the local manufacturers. There would be no import costs involved, which might make it cheaper for the operators to roll out new networks.

Indian operators currently rely on outside companies such as Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung, Huawei, and ZTE. However, the Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE won’t be able to participate in the government’s PLI scheme for the telecom sector since they are considered a national threat at the moment.

India is soon going to push for the live 5G networks, and the PLI scheme for telecom will help the operators build their 5G core and infrastructure on the foundation of locally manufactured equipment.

It is worth noting that India has also excluded Huawei and ZTE from the 5G trials that the telecom department announced a few days back. The operators will be leveraging the technologies from the European vendors including Nokia and Ericsson for testing their 5G networks in the urban and rural parts of the country.

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