Huawei sanctions: Trai for local telecom gear manufacturing

​​In August last year, the regulator had proposed a Rs 1,000-crore fund to boost local production of telecom gear, aiming to cut net imports to zero by 2022.

NEW DELHI: Manufacturing telecom equipment locally is a strategic as well as an economic imperative, India’s telecom regulator said, in the backdrop of trade restrictions imposed on China’s telecom gear maker Huawei by the United States last week on grounds of national security.

“Manufacturing of backend telecom equipment is of strategic as well as economic importance. It must be done,” Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman RS Sharma told ET, adding that “safety and security of the telecom infrastructure and equipment” is vital.

In August last year, the regulator had proposed a Rs 1,000-crore fund to boost local production of telecom gear, aiming to cut net imports to zero by 2022. India’s telecom equipment imports surged to $21.84 billion in 2017-18, from $14.69 billion in 2014-15, government data showed.


Network equipment such as the switches, routers, base trans-receiver stations, antennae and multiplexing systems are mostly imported. The telecom watchdog feels there is a need to create self-reliance and job opportunities within the country. On being asked whether India should bar Huawei as well, Sharma said “it is up to the government to take a call”.
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