The Indian government is reportedly considering introducing new legislation that will oblige the nation’s telcos to procure at least 30% of their equipment from local manufacturers. The Hindustan Times reports that the policy has come about as a result of security concerns raised by intelligence agencies over the dependence on foreign-source technology. The proposed policy would be introduced from 1 April 2013, at the start of India’s next fiscal year. The Telecom Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (TEMA) has responded by assuring telcos that local vendors will be able to meet demands, and own patents in the relevant fields.
The proposals are the first push by the government towards plans set out by its National Telecom Policy 2012 (NTP2012), which were heavily weighted towards encouraging India’s domestic equipment manufacturing industry. The NTP 2012 set out goals of harnessing the immense size of India’s potential market – second only to China’s – to make India a key player in the global equipment market. Amongst the targets of the NTP were to create an almost entirely self-sufficient ecosystem, with Indian vendors to meet 80% of the equipment demand on the subcontinent by 2020.