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Ericsson, Huawei plan domestic 5G gear manufacturing

Telecom gear makers Ericsson and Huawei plan to start manufacturing of 5G radio products in India for domestic as well as export markets.

ET Bureau|
Oct 15, 2019, 08.12 AM IST
Jay Chan, CEO Huawei India
New Delhi: Telecom gear makers Ericsson and Huawei plan to start manufacturing of 5G radio products in India for domestic as well as export markets, even as Finnish gear maker Nokia said it has already shipped 5G radios from its Chennai factory and is now planning to ramp its capacity.

“In 2018, we announced the exports of radio products from our factory in Pune and I can assure you that we are ready to ‘switch on’ the manufacture of 5G radios here in India, for India bands and prepared to start deployments. In other words, we are ready for production in India for India,” Nunzio Mirtillo, senior vice president and head of market area Southeast Asia, Oceania & India, said at the India Mobile Congress 2019 on Monday.

Ericsson had last year started exporting 5G-ready 4G telecom equipment and microwave equipment for 2G, 3G and 4G technologies from its manufacturing facility in Pune, Maharashtra, to markets in Southeast Asia like Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. Nokia’s India head Sanjay Malik separately told ET that the company has already shipped 5G new radio (NR) for markets like the US and Europe from its Chennai factory.

“Domestic 5G demand can also be fulfilled through the local factory." Last year, Nokia shipped telecom gear worth $400 million from its Chennai factory, and half of it was from exports to more than 35 countries. Huawei’s India chief executive Jay Chen, in a separate interview to ET, said it is open to start 5G radio manufacturing in India along with previous generation technologies gear like 2G and 4G.

“We are currently evaluating the possibility.” China’s Huawei had last year shifted to the free trade and
warehousing (FTW), or trading zone for imports, near Mumbai after stopping domestic production due to lukewarm demand. But its local 5G production will depend on whether India allows it to take part in 5G trials and deployments.

The Indian government is yet to give clarity on 5G field trials and final approval to all gear makers, including Huawei. India is set to sell airwaves supporting the next generation technology early next year, and has reiterated on many platforms that it will take a call on allowing Huawei basis its own national security needs.

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