Earlier this year, Samsung was reportedly in talks with the Indian government to participate in the PLI (Production Linked Incentive) scheme for the telecom sector. At that point, the company was said to be in talks with Airtel at that point for 5G gear. A few days back, right after the conclusion of Spectrum Auction 2022 for 5G airwaves in India, Airtel awarded Samsung with a contract for 5G deployment in a few circles. This is a big win for the South Korean tech giant. It is not Samsung's first rodeo in the 5G domain. Samsung had previously bagged a big $6.6 billion USD deal from Verizon back in 2020. Further, the company has been working with Jio for a long-time, helping the company with its 4G network deployment.
Samsung had initially not participated in the telecom sector PLI scheme because it didn't see any major benefit in setting up manufacturing and production facilities of telecom gear in India as Jio was the only client of the company. For Jio, Samsung could get the equipment from its foreign manufacturing facilities.
Even the Indian government wanted Samsung to participate in the PLI scheme, and the company was reportedly re-estimating its decision of not applying for the scheme for telecom gear. A PTI report from July said that Samsung might or might not ask the government to extend the PLI scheme application date.
After getting the deal from Airtel, it might happen. But again, no official comment from Samsung has come yet. The company can not only manufacture for Airtel and Jio within India but also ramp up production enough to start exporting the products to other countries. PLI scheme for the telecom sector can benefit a major corporation like Samsung a lot and also be a good thing for India's immediate future and economy.