As the Indian government aims to promote domestic manufacturing of telecom
equipment, three leading players in the sector — Nokia, Ericsson
— have said they are already making in India.
Nokia, which has its manufacturing unit
in Chennai, said all the radio equipment for local customer requirements was manufactured in India. The Finnish telecom
gear maker said, in fact, close to 50 per cent of finished radio base station products were also being exported.
Similarly, Swedish telecom
said it was the first to start manufacturing telecom
equipment in India in 1994. “Through our new factory in Pune we are providing equipment to Indian telecom
operators, including radio access and microwaves. When it comes to exporting from that facility, we met the minister and have already started seeking approvals to start exporting,” Nitin Bansal, country manager, India, Ericsson, told Business Standard
Asked how soon the company planned to start exporting, Bansal said it did not have a timeline but the company proposed to start exporting to Southeast Asia soon.
are meeting the domestic demand of radio equipment from their factories in India.
“All radio and microwave components are being manufactured and supplied from the factory in Pune. That doesn’t mean everything else is being imported. There are a lot of other things that we produce in Pune,” Bansal said.
also said it had been manufacturing telecom
equipment in India for quite some time, but the company did not share details about what products were manufactured locally.
“We have manufacturing facilities in Chennai
network equipment. Additionally, we also cooperate and outsource through our global EMS partner, whose world-class facility is also located in Chennai.
Through these facilities, we have been delivering latest cutting-edge telecom
equipment to the Indian market,” Huawei
said in reply to a Business Standard
said it was manufacturing at its Chennai
facility the complete gamut of telecom
products — 2G, 3G, LTE and core networks — for the domestic and global markets.
On 5G manufacturing plans, Sanjay Malik, head of India, Nokia, said, “Nokia
is already manufacturing 4G equipment in India and will be 5G-ready as and when the Indian market is ready for large-scale commercial deployment.”
Similarly, Ericsson’s Bansal said, “When it comes to 5G, the radios and the other equipment that we supply are ready for 5G. This is something we have said, that the Massive MIMO product that we supply is ready to deliver, the baseband and everything else is also 5G-ready.”
Promoting domestic manufacturing of telecom
equipment is one of the priority areas for the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Telecom
Secretary Aruna Sundararajan has said the country still imports about 80-85 per cent of all telecom
equipment and the government will be moving to ensure it is able to have telecom
manufacturing done in India. There would be a big policy thrust in the New Telecom
Policy, she added.
The government wants manufacturing from the point of view of its “Make in India” project as well as due to security concerns.
In telecom, the DoT already has a provision which says that every single component used in Indian networks must be in security conformity to Indian standards. But the DoT is also planning to develop a set of best practices at the level of the infrastructure layer.
The DoT will be working with telecom
operators to make sure that the best practices are put in place by the end of this year.
Asked about the security policy, Bansal said, “We at Ericsson
believe that as we are working in India, we have to strictly follow all the rules and regulations set by the government.”