He said that the government's move to encourage local companies to roll out the 4G network of BSNL will provide an immediate opportunity for the Indian manufacturers in the equipment space.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman P D Vaghela on Tuesday said that use of Open RAN and software defined telecom networks will open new opportunities for Indian entities to enter the network equipment market. He said that the government’s move to encourage local companies to roll out the 4G network of BSNL will provide an immediate opportunity for the Indian manufacturers in the equipment space.
“We can leverage the capabilities of the IT sector to build, operate and maintain software products which can serve India as well as global telecom industry at a reasonable price. We all know the maximum value addition is in the technology development,” Vaghela said at the 15th India Digital Summit, organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).
He said that earlier it was difficult for Indian entities to enter into telecom equipment space but with Open RAN, there will be an opportunity for local firms to produce some components of the system. For example, Reliance Jio has already started talking about their Open RAN. There is huge opportunity for Indian manufacturers, he said.
Usually, radio access network (RAN), which includes base station and antennas, makes up for the majority of the network cost. Open RAN enables telecom service providers to diversify supply chains, bring in unprecedented levels of interoperability and agility, which can help reduce their capex by almost 50%.
A recent study found that 5G deployments that leveraged Open RAN saw capex savings of as high as 49%, while another study projects average savings for cloud network deployments to be 37% over five years.
Vaghela said the timing is also appropriate for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ as the existing supply chains are getting disrupted and new opportunities are emerging. “In the field of telecommunications, developments related to Open RAN and software defined networks are opening new opportunities for Indian entities to enter into the network equipment market. In order to succeed while competing in this space, we must think end-to-end solutions and to improve our capacity and productivity.
We need to invest in capacity building for future needs and manufacturing facilities. We should invest in design, R&D of latest products and services,” he said.
India should take more interest in developing telecom standards at the ITU. “We need to increase investment in R&D to be self-reliant in technology space,” the Trai chairman said.
Vaghela added there should be a time-bound and transparent process in place for any kind of permissions required by companies like requirement of spectrum for development of wireless technology. He also highlighted the need to push telecom production in India.