Jio, Airtel, and Vi may need to buy local equipment

The government may require the Indian telecom players to buy local equipment in an effort to promote Make in India goods and equipment. No commercial telecom company is currently buying radios or core equipment from regional suppliers to roll out 5G or to support any legacy networks. Additionally contributing to this is the lack of a local market for such equipment. However, the government is working hard to alter that quickly. The Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) and TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) is already assisting BSNL in deploying 4G utilising in-house technology.

The government intends to pressure Indian telecom companies like Jio, Airtel, and Vi to buy some of their gear domestically. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will compel the telcos to purchase some of their equipment from regional suppliers if they don’t already do so on a voluntary basis.

Senior DoT officials told Business Standard that if private telcos don’t already buy some of their telecom equipment from domestic suppliers, DoT may make it necessary for them to do so. It needs to be seen if the telcos would feel happy with this.

According to the government, the domestic production and tech ecosystem in India should be strengthened. However, that won’t happen unless the neighbourhood businesses begin to turn a profit and make some strides. The Indian government will find it challenging to promote its Make in India agenda if the telecoms continue to buy their hardware and software only from foreign MNCs and suppliers.

The carriers will have to purchase at least a portion of their telecom equipment from domestic producers, the article claims. As a result, they can still buy a sizable piece of their equipment from international suppliers that have tested technology and offer affordable alternatives.