TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), the telecom regulator, this week began 2nd stage of consultation procedure to market the use of domesticated produced equipment in the local network.
In December 2010, TRAI had floated a consultation document on the matter and in April 2011, subjected suggestions on the same. “In the past 5 Years, there has been an exponential development in the telecom sector in technology. A requirement has consequently been felt to re-examine the problems of ‘Promoting Local Manufacturing in Telecom Sector.’ Taking into consideration the matter, the authority has made a decision to subject a consultation document on ‘Promoting Local Telecom Equipment Manufacturing,'” TRAI claimed to the media in a statement.
The consultation document will also talk the contentious problem of standard necessary patents and grant of their permit for use on the basis of FRAND (fair, reasonable and on-discriminatory) terms. It has been a disagreement amid European multi-nationals and domestic handset firms. The regulator claimed that it plans to practically assess true potential of India in manufacturing of equipment with the goal to frame suggestions to changeover telecom industry in India from an import-dependent segment to a worldwide hub for production.
TRAI further added that the industry of mobile phone manufacturing displayed good progress in the last 5 Years, but companies of telecom equipment manufacturing have not been capable of catching up. As per Ravi Shankar Prasad, the IT and Law Minister, 93 firms in the mobile handset sector have commenced making goods in India.
“These days, the services segment commands almost 60% of GDP (gross domestic product) of India whereas the manufacturing share, a huge contributor to the infrastructure segment, has been declining at almost 16% on an average from 1990,” the regulator further claimed. TRAI mentioned a report that displayed more than 90% of the need in India of telecom equipment was met via imports in 2013–2014. In the consultation document, TRAI has welcomed public opinions to recognize policy measures needed to drive productivity and innovation of domestic telecom manufacturing in the country and to examine the current patent laws in the context of marketing domestic manufacturers.