Open out Telecom Manufacturing Sector in India. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-3o
By Abraham Paul
Introduction. Till some time back, it took few years to get a telephone connection. Why because, while every industry struggle to build a market volume, the incumbent monopoly strangled the market potential by making plans for minus five year’s need and took another five years to implement it. Look at the change in the sector. Now you can step into any pan shop and walk away with ready to use phone. The cost of usage also becomes affordable to common man.
Then look at the pathetic state of Telecom manufacturing sector like ITI and others in this country. In spite of exploding market potential for equipment, devices and accessories within the country and abroad, the manufacturing industry in India refuse to grow even with mammoth net worth and abundant highly skilled work force compatible to any in the world.
Succumbing to various pressures, opening out of the Telecom manufacturing sector is delayed. It is not necessary to link this with BSNL going public. Privatization of labor intensive BSNL will rake up many issues. Whatever said and done, private sectors lack the will to harmoniously manage such huge and mostly redundant labor force.
Scope of getting investment in telecom industry without BSNL’s involvement do not seem to be difficult, because many telecom service providers are running helter-skelter with surplus cash to grab business, M&A etc., across the world. Many foreign companies are also looking for investment in telecom sectors in India. It is for the government to take quick decision to allow and channelize investments to industrial sector.
There shall be safe guards: The investments are likely to come from companies from which the imports are coming now. There is the risk of passing on outdated systems and technology. Life cycle of Telecom & IT hardware is becoming lesser; software and middle-ware need continuous upgrades at added cost. With fast changing technology, the telecom investment projections go haywire with very low life cycle hardware, and soft ware needing continuous upgrade/replacements and total change over to new technology.
When majority holding by the FDIs, the Indian counter parts will have no bargaining strength. Cost of systems is likely to go up as the present foreign vendor competition in the sellers market would vanish. Therefore, in case of foreign collaborators, it shall be made mandatory to transfer technology to their Indian counterparts like what China did in this field in the recent past.
As far as the question of security issues are concerned, even now all imported systems have on line access by vendors from their foreign facility bases, for diagnosis and other engineering purposes. Manufacturing and restricting access only from within the country is the only way to safeguard any potential security.
Phones and accessories. Like in any business, in Telecom business also, its success depends on the its volume. The quantum leap in telecom penetration happened due to the Telecom connections, Phones and Usage charges became available, accessible and affordable to common man. Large variety of fast mushrooming hyped up Mobile Phones catering for advance technology much before the systems and networks are ready will push high percentage of low profile users out of the system and eventually lead to lower business volume. It is important to indigenously manufacture and supply Mobile Phones at moderate cost to common mass. As growth of telecom penetration directly impact growth of country’s economy and growth it would be wiser for Government to support manufacturing of low cost Mobile phones and supply it to needy free or subsidized. Please see my blog Mobile phones can quicken Financial Inclusion for Inclusive growth. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-ue
Quality of products is also another main concern. While percentage of faulty components of imported systems is insignificant, the same when manufactured in Indian factories show considerably higher delaying projects and causing operational problems. Unless this is tackled, ‘Make in India’ will not succeed.
Please see my blog Make Telecom Systems, network, Phones, product and services for the common man. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-9i
Abraham Paul. P email@example.com