As Tesla explores setting up a manufacturing plant in India, Reliance Jio is in talks with the Elon Musk-led company with an offer to build a captive private network for its factory. The network would manage all the critical operations at faster speeds and also look at connected car solutions, automation of production processes, among others, industry sources said.
“The talks between Jio and Tesla are at a preliminary stage and any further developments are expected only when the latter firms up its plans for setting up a manufacturing unit in India,” sources said.
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A query sent to Jio in this regard did not elicit any response till the time of going to the press.
However, a Jio executive, on the condition of anonymity, said that 5G is about enterprises connectivity and the company is reaching out to firms in the automobile, healthcare, manufacturing and other industries with the possible use cases, and offering to build and manage their networks.
A captive private 5G network will help enterprises experience high data speed and data carrying capacity within their premises, which may not be possible if they use public networks. The same solutions will also help these companies to benefit from Industry 4.0, a technology considered as the next revolution in the area of manufacturing, experts said.
The concept of private network is emerging as one of the most promising use cases of 5G. A white paper by Qualcomm had sometime back made a case for allowing such networks citing three major reasons. First, such networks guarantee coverage in remote locations where commercial network coverage is limited. Second, they lead to more network control, like applying configurations that are not supported in a public network and enterprises can retain sensitive operational data at premises. And third, private 5G networks would be able to meet better performance profile.
In December last year, Bharti Airtel announced a partnership with Tech Mahindra to deploy ‘5G for Enterprise’ solution at Mahindra and Mahindra’s Chakan facility, thereby making it India’s first 5G-enabled auto manufacturing unit.
As reported earlier, in a change of approach, Tesla is now considering manufacturing in India and is no longer pressing with its earlier demand for New Delhi to first lower import duty on completely built units, which is at 100% for cars costing $40,000 and above.
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A Tesla team comprising supply chain executives, who have drawn up a manufacturing plan for India, last week held talks with key ministries as well as officials in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
“They (Tesla) are very seriously looking at India as a production and innovation base,” Rajeev Chandrasekhar, minister of state for electronics and information technology, said last week.
“We are open to concessions, subsidies if they (Tesla) manufacture here,” road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari had earlier said at an FE event.