India’s response to China’s telecom technology; Tech Mahindra, ITI develop 4G equipment
Thrissur: India is gearing up to set foot in the field of telecommunications technology, which till date had been remaining a Chinese monopoly. The equipment and technology required for providing 4G services will be developed in the country.
The initiative by software company Tech Mahindra and public sector enterprise Indian Telephone Industries (ITI), is entering the trial phase.
The move for developing this started when Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) cancelled the tender for the fourth generation (4G) network upgradation and expansion, after the government recently barred state-run telcos from sourcing equipment from Chinese players Huawei and ZTE. The initiative also has the support from BSNL technical experts.
Base Transceiver Station (BTS), the equipment that facilitates wireless communication between user equipment (UE) and a network, is being developed. The hardware of BTS was prepared by ITI while the software was prepared by Tech Mahindra.
25 tower sites have been selected in Bengaluru for an 18-week long trial. A discussion is also underway regarding the need for a separate network for 4G.
Chinese companies Huawei, ZTE, Korean companies Samsung, European companies Nokia and Ericsson have developed such equipment.
The 3G service contracts of government were fully sourced to Huawei and Ericsson. When the decision was taken to provide 4G service using 3G spectrum, the contract was given to Nokia and ZTE.
In March, when the tender of Rs 8,697 crore, was called for equipment to provide 4G service using 50,000 towers, Huawei, Samsung and ZTE had expressed interest. However, the tender was later cancelled.
As no Indian company was in the list, ITI and Tech Mahindra approached the government with their proposal which was approved under Atmanirbhar Bharat mission.
Efforts are also underway to develop equipment and technology for providing 5G service.