Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Telecommunications and IT
Indigenous 5G technology developed by the TCS-CDoT-led consortium has the potential to win global contracts as people around the world seek trusted solutions telecom solutions and no country can match the level of confidence India can bring, said Telecoms and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.
While sharing the government’s plans to roll out 1.25 lakh mobile sites in the BSNL network based on locally developed technology gears, Vaishnaw in an interview expressed concern over the shortage of semiconductors and said the first project proposal for high-tech electronic chips will be approved in coming few months this year.
“We are moving very fast in the development of our own 5G technology stack. There is a strong desire from the entire global community to have a good source of reliable and affordable technology for telecommunications, because telecommunications is the main point of consumption today. of all digital services. People want a trusted telecom solution. And as you know, the trust that India can provide, no other country can match,” said Vaishnaw.
Several countries led by the United States and European countries have blocked 5G telecom equipment from Chinese companies. India has also introduced an approval process for trusted telecom equipment in local area networks.
The minister said the recently developed indigenous 4G technology stack is now mature, scalable and can be deployed to more than one million towers.
“Billions of concurrent calls have been made on it to test its robustness. Our goal is to deploy to around 1.25 lakh towers in the next few months. 2G and 3G equipment needs to be replaced by 4G. The only challenge is the semiconductor chips that go into radios,” Vaishnaw said.
He said the semiconductor factory proposals received under the Rs 76,000 crore Semicon mission by the government are being assessed.
“We are at a very advanced stage of evaluating the applications, which were received in February. I would not like to comment on their status at this stage. But, we believe that in the coming months we should have the first agreement signed this year,” he added.
The minister met in mid-June with semiconductor technology company IMEC at its headquarters in Belgium, which is in talks with two of the candidates to supply chip manufacturing technology to India.
Vedanta Foxconn JV, IGSS Ventures and ISMC have offered to set up microchip manufacturing plants with an investment of USD 13.6 billion (over Rs 1.06 crore) and requested the support of USD 5.6 billion ( around Rs 43,800 crore) from the Center under the Rs 76,000 crore Semicon India program.
ISMC Analog Fab Private Ltd, based in Israel, has expressed its willingness to set up a semiconductor manufacturing plant in Karnataka at an outlay of Rs 22,900 crore.
The government expects an investment of about Rs 1.7 lakh crore and 1.35 lakh jobs to be created over the next four years under the government-approved semiconductor incentive scheme. Firm.
Some telecom equipment manufacturers have a 6-8 month lag in supplying equipment from the time they receive purchase orders due to semiconductor shortages. The shortage is also expected to impact the 5G network in India.
Speaking about the 5G rollout, the minister said he expects the next spectrum auction to end in July and service rollout to start in August-September.
The government has also opened up a limited amount of E-band spectrum, which can be used to connect mobile towers for high-speed data transmission, as required for 5G services.
The minister said E-band spectrum can also be used to deliver 5G services to customers, but the government has only opened it up to connect mobile towers.
He said the use of E-band spectrum is subject to the recommendations of telecommunications regulator Trai.
“Trai will finally issue recommendations on this. This is an issue in which we said Trai’s recommendation was the final word. Trai gave a preliminary recommendation that this one-time event can be used as a liaison, but as and as it is auctioned or as the auction price is determined by Trai, the process will need to be adjusted accordingly,” Vaishnaw said.
When asked if the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) recommendations will be implemented retrospectively, the minister said there was no decision yet and everything would depend on the regulator’s recommendation.
Telecom players like Addiction Ji, Airtel and Vodafone idea urged the government to allocate E-band spectrum through auctions while internet companies demanded to allocate radio waves in this band without auctions.
The Trai recommended attribution of the e-band on a link-to-link basis, through the online registration process on a separate web portal. The regulator also said routes should be protected on a “first-come, first-served” basis, equivalent to assigning carriers on a first-come, first-served basis.