Nokia and Ericsson commit to India for 5G

Published: 21 September 2020 - midnight

European network equipment heavyweights Ericsson and Nokia have both agreed to manufacture network components for India’s 5G networks in-country, according to reports in the press.

A report in the Economic Times of India claimed that both Ericsson and Nokia have given assurances to Indian telco Bharti Airtel that all their next generation network equipment would be manufactured in India. The move comes as Indian telcos find themselves under increasing pressure to limit their dependence on Chinese produced network components, as tensions between India and China continue to simmer.

Speaking at the ET Telecom Digital Telco Virtual Summit 2020, Bharti Airtel’s CTO, Randeep Sekhon, said that both European vendors would deliver core, radio and transport products from their existing facilities in India.

“The self-reliant vision of the country is key to the whole economy. Telcos’ role is very important,” he said.
“They have promised to us that 5G also will be made here, which means in some way telcos are also contributing to the economy of the country by consuming something which is made here,” he added.

Tensions between India and China have increased in recent months following a series of high profile skirmishes at strategic boarder points between the two countries. The Indian government recently banned 59 Chinese mobile apps, including popular social media platforms WeChat and TikTok, as tensions between the two countries continue to simmer.

The Indian government said that it had taken the measures to protect the “sovereignty and security” of the country.

The move came as the Indian government continues to deliberate over whether to allow Chinese vendors, such as ZTE and Huawei, to participate in its next generation network build out.

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