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    Global 5G standards to push manufacturing operations in India: International trade bodies

    Top trade and technology bodies from the US and UK have told the Indian government that adoption of globally harmonised standard, the 3GPP 5G standard, will give a much needed push to electronic manufacturing in India as companies will be encouraged to set up their operations in India.

    They urged the government to allow Indian telcos to independently choose to deploy technologies conforming to the 5G standard of their choice.

    Indian telcos, multinational vendors chipset and smartphone makers have already made their submission to the government, urging it to avoid making the Indian 5G standard, 5Gi, mandatory as the technology is not proven and may impact rollout of the next gen technology and disrupt the entire ecosystem by delaying the roll out and jack up prices.

    “By using globally harmonized standards such as those from 3GPP, companies can set up manufacturing operations in India with the confidence that they can easily serve both the Indian market and export to global markets,” the bodies said in a joint submission letter to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Telecommunications Engineering Centre (TEC).

    These organisations include Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), UK India Business Council (UKIBC), U.S. Chamber of Commerce US-India Business Council (USIBC) US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), TechNet and TechUK.

    The adoption and use of global 5G standards will enable Indian manufacturers to compete in markets around the world, supporting the government’s goal to strengthen the Indian economy, they added.

    Notably, India has already announced sops under production-linked incentives or PLI scheme for domestic and multinational vendors to develop a local manufacturing ecosystem to serve both local and global markets.

    Local telecom standards body, Telecom Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI), has suggested that the 5Gi be made the national standard for deploying 5G networks in India.

    The international bodies, however, said that the global standards body, 3GPP is continuously releasing updated specifications which “may diverge from and make country-specific standards obsolete.”

    In line with Indian telcos and multinational vendors’ submission, the trade bodies said that adopting globally recognised 5G standards into Indian national standards will advance the pace of 5G network rollout, helping Indians connect to high-speed internet and address the digital divide.

    “By using 3GPP standards, India’s telecommunications operators will be able to leverage the economies of scale provided by globally harmonized standards to efficiently iterate on existing networks,” they added.

    In the letter, they added that global 5G standards will also enable Indian consumers, companies, and network providers to leverage proven and up-to-date technology solutions from global providers to access the internet, enhancing security and supporting India’s continued economic growth

    The adoption of a globally harmonised 5G standard will allow the Indian government to work closely with global partners and allies on issues related to emerging technology, they said.

    “Whether in the context of the Quad Emerging Technology Working Group between India, the U.S., Japan, and Australia; or in other bilateral and multilateral partnerships, global standards are foundational to cooperation on next-generation technologies. Not adopting global standards could set back vital shared work on supply chain security and vendor diversification, which also rely on common standards,” the letter read.

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