India wants to stimulate local telecoms manufacturing

telecomasia.net

The Indian government has renewed efforts to augment local manufacturing of telecoms equipment and reduce the industry's reliance on imported gear.

Regulator Trai has issued a consultation paper seeking stakeholder views on a policy framework to achieve the goal of boosting local equipment manufacturing and on attracting foreign investment into the market segment.

The consultation paper notes that while efforts to stimulate the local mobile handset manufacturing industry have been successful in the past five years, the the telecoms equipment manufacturing industry has not been able to match this performance.

There is also currently no manufacturing program for promoting local manufacturing of telecoms equipment unlike with handsets.

Currently around 90% of the nation's telecommunications equipment needs is served by imports, Trai said.

“While a liberal trade policy enabling import of telecom equipment with low or no duty has kept both service providers and consumers happy, the lack of capacity building for domestic production poses a serious challenge to India's continued success in the telecom sector,” the paper states.

Trai first started exploring the issue of stimulating domestic equipment manufacturing in 2010, but now feels the need to revisit the issue due to the exponential growth in the telecoms sector in the past five years.

The consultation will also explore the issue of resolving disputes related to standards-essential patents and FRAND licensing terms, a source of ongoing controversy between local handset makers and European multinationals.

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