Nokia assures to help BSNL to launch 4G
In India local players and multinational companies should coexist in the Telecom sector, according to Sanjay Malik, Senior VP & Head, India Market, Nokia. He added that both can fulfil different roles in the sector.
Malik shared his views regarding the ‘Make in India’ campaign from the perspective of the telecom sector and Nokia’s role in it.
The Nokia India Head also discussed the future of the sector, emphasizing on the need for 5G in India.
A recent BSNL tender to buy 4G gear was put on hold because the government wanted to give Indian manufacturers a chance to bid for the contract. From a BSNL perspective, in terms of the local manufacturing matter Malik said, “It will take quite a long time to have those products even if the local manufacturers or the local vendors in India want to do it. It’s going to take a long time. It's not easy, and it is going to take a big investment into that”.
"BSNL’s requirement is for revival and the requirement for 4G is now. With that requirement, if you are not able to even launch 4G services, then it would be again a challenge for BSNL," he added.
He further said, "I would go for the coexistence of all the MNCs in India, and the local players, the local manufacturers. A large R&D investment goes into this telecom product. If it is such a large investment, then we have to have a global scale."
From the government perspective, they have to enable this vertical integration of the whole ecosystem. So, whether it is a component, whether it is a semiconductor or whether it is a chip, BSNL has to attract more and more manufacturers in that segment to India, which they are doing. From Nokia’s perspective, they would be happy if the local components are available with the same quality and with a better cost.
“‘Making in India’ should be seen as how much value do you create for India. We have been doing that for a while now. We have our manufacturing facility in Chennai. All the radio equipment, which gets supplied in India, comes from that factory. Even on the export side, the same factory has been building the equipment for exporting to advanced countries”, said Malik.
Nokia has a large R&D base in Bangalore, where it has about 6000 plus people the tech giant has also incubated 30 start-ups.
According to Malik, “India, as a country, should start moving towards 5G. From the spectrum auction perspective, because of Covid and because of the financial health of the sector, maybe the 5G auction takes place sometime in 2021. And then by the end of 2021, maybe or towards the second half of 2021, we start seeing some 5G commercial launches. From the sector perspective, we have seen that the underlying performance has been improving each year”.
“5G will have markets, the consumer market and the enterprise market. For the operators, the enterprise market would be much more attractive”.
“India has adopted 4G. My view is that from an India market perspective, where the consumption of data is so huge and it keeps on growing month over month, it will be a supply and demand situation. If the supply is there, demand will be there. If 5G provides better experience, better use cases, better data speeds, better latency, I think adoption would be fast and again on the handset side or on the side of the devices, we see that the ecosystem is building up. The 5G device prices will start coming down when we approach the launch of 5G in India, he concluded.”
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