A plane flies over a telecom tower. (Photographer: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg)  

Telecom Gear Makers Cheer TRAI’s Recommendations To Boost Local Manufacturing

Domestic telecom gear makers today applauded the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s recommendations on boosting local manufacturing and adopting measures to push usage of indigenous products in telecom networks.

“The TRAI recommendations to promote local telecom equipment manufacturing is a welcome move by the regulator,” Sanjeev Kakkar, vice chairman, Telecom System Design and Manufacturing, said in a statement. “The aim to make India net zero importer of telecom equipment by 2022 is particularly noteworthy.”

The regulator’s recommendations -- 18 in all -- issued today are aimed at transforming the telecom manufacturing sector from being “import-dependent” to a global hub of indigenous manufacturing. TRAI noted that while telecom services have grown at a rapid pace, telecom equipment manufacturing has not kept up with it.

TRAI recommended that India should aim to achieve the objective of ‘net zero imports of telecommunication equipment’ by 2022.

“It is now critical that these recommendations are implemented in true spirit for the benefit of the domestic manufacturers and thereby the country,” Kakkar said.

The regulator also favoured creating a Telecom Research and Development Fund with an initial corpus of Rs 1,000 crore to give a fillip to research, innovation, design, testing, certification and manufacturing of indigenous telecom equipment. It also asked the Department of Telecom to consider setting up Telecom Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund and Telecom Manufacturing Promotion Fund. The recommendations also pitched for setting up of Telecommunication Equipment Development Board under the the department for faster decision making on funding and incentives.

Of prime value is TRAI’s suggestion that the local manufacturing be looked after at the level of member in Telecom Commission. In fact earlier Member Production was solely responsible for promotion of local manufacturing. Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association of India requests that this post be filled up immediately
NK Goyal, Chairman Emeritus, TEMA

The regulator has recommended that the progress of indigenous telecommunication equipment manufacturing in the country be monitored in the Telecom Department at least at the level of member, Telecom Commission.