Amid rising tensions between India and China, the Trai has now called for suggestions to push the locally made gear in the telecom and broadcasting sectors. As you might be aware of already, Chinese gear makers like ZTE and Huawei may not take part in India's telecom sector anymore. Already, telcos like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are switching to other gear makers like Ericsson and Nokia. The Government of India is aiming to cut dependence on the import of equipment from China. Trai chief PD Vaghela on Wednesday highlighted that local R&D in telecom and broadcast sectors could make India a $5 trillion economy. More on the matter below.
Trai Highlights the Importance of Locally Made Gear
According to ET Telecom, the Trai had a high-level discussion with CDoT, TSDSI, IIT Kanpur, IIT Madras, and IIT Delhi earlier today. During the meeting, Trai chief PD Vaghela said India could become a $5 trillion economy by making the telecom and broadcasting gear locally. Right now, India is importing the gear from foreign companies like Samsung, Ericsson, Nokia, ZTE and Huawei.
The major question would be the adoption of locally made gear. For this, the Trai suggests having a 'structured approach' focusing on R&D, incentivising efforts and providing assured purchase orders to R&D institutes.
The next spectrum auction begins on March 1. Indian telcos Airtel and Vodafone Idea have already started replacing the gear used by ZTE and Huawei with those of Ericsson and Nokia, according to the same ET report.
The government is also pushing BSNL to use the locally-made gear for 4G services in the country. However, the state-run telco said a 4G tender from a local gear maker is as expensive compared to those of global OEMs. This is also one concern that R&D institutes should keep in mind. If a tender price is high, then telecom operators will not shy away from opting for global vendors.
Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel already said they are developing in-house 5G technology.