DoT Secretary Meets Qualcomm Leaders: Chipset Woes, 6G & AI on the Agenda

The meeting between the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) Secretary and Qualcomm leaders primarily focuses on addressing chipset availability, and R&D collaboration while also exploring advancements in 6G networks and artificial intelligence (AI)

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In a crucial meeting aimed at boosting India's telecom sector, Secretary of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Mr. Neeraj Mittal, met with a delegation from Qualcomm's leadership team on Tuesday. The discussion focused on three key areas: addressing the ongoing chip shortage, fostering R&D collaboration, and driving standardization in emerging technologies like 6G, 5G Advance, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Next-Gen Communication (NGC).


"We had a productive meeting with Qualcomm representatives, headed by Mr. Alex Rogers, President of Qualcomm, along with Mr. Savi Soin, Senior Vice President and President of Qualcomm India," said the secretary (DoT). "Our discussions centered on addressing chip availability concerns and fostering collaboration in research and development, standards development, and the advancement of 5G/6G and AI technologies. We reached a mutual agreement to work together to resolve these issues and enhance cooperation, including the establishment of 5G labs."

Mittal emphasized the need for enhanced cooperation between Indian and international stakeholders to ensure seamless supply chains and sustainable growth in the semiconductor ecosystem. He expressed his desire to explore joint ventures and strategic partnerships aimed at addressing the shortage of chips and promoting local manufacturing capabilities.

Qualcomm's leadership team shared their vision for advancing 6G and 5G Advanced technologies while discussing the prospects of expanding their presence in India. They also highlighted their commitment to fostering R&D collaborations and standardization efforts in line with DoT's objectives. As of early 2024, India's semiconductor availability is improving through various initiatives aimed at establishing a robust domestic chip manufacturing ecosystem. The Government of India has received 18 proposals for chip factories, with a commitment of $9.15 billion in incentives for successful applicants.


Chipset availability: 

The availability of microchips is crucial in India as they play a vital role across various sectors, including information technology and agriculture. These microchips are integral components in devices like smartphones, computers, medical equipment, and automobiles. A scarcity of microchips can result in reduced production and supply of goods, potentially leaving consumers unable to access desired products. Moreover, it may prompt manufacturers to raise prices, impacting consumer demand. This shortage can significantly impact nearly 50% of the average Indian consumer's expenditure, particularly affecting sectors such as education, recreation, communication, transportation, healthcare, and household appliances, which rely on devices containing microchips and semiconductors.

R&D collaboration: 


Qualcomm's R&D collaboration in India is significant and poised for growth through its initiatives and agreements of resolve and cooperation. Actively engaged in partnerships, such as the Digital India futureLABS initiative, Qualcomm aims to strengthen supply chain development. With development centers in Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad, India serves as its largest research base outside of San Diego. These centers focus on various technologies, including 5G and artificial intelligence. Such agreements could further enhance R&D cooperation, potentially leading to increased investment and collaborative efforts, fostering advancements in cutting-edge technologies and the semiconductor ecosystem in the region.


India's progress in 5G and potential for 6G are significantly shaped by collaborations and initiatives with Qualcomm. As a global leader in driving advancements in 5G and 6G technologies, Qualcomm's cooperation with Indian entities is poised to elevate the country's capabilities in these fields. The company's active engagement in fostering R&D partnerships in India, especially in the semiconductor and 5G technology sectors, underscores its commitment to innovation. A notable example is Qualcomm's collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) for the Digital India futureLABS initiative, aimed at strengthening India's semiconductor ecosystem and promoting indigenous SoC (System on Chip) development.



In 2024, India's AI ecosystem is expected to be enhanced through various initiatives and collaborations, including Qualcomm's efforts to support the development of indigenous AI solutions. Qualcomm has been actively involved in fostering AI innovation in India through its initiatives.

Qualcomm's development centers in Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad are focused on researching next-generation technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and extended reality2. These centers play a crucial role in driving AI advancements and fostering indigenous talent in India.

Qualcomm's resolve and cooperation in driving AI advancements are expected to further enhance India's capabilities in this domain. The company's commitment to fostering indigenous AI solutions and supporting the growth of India's semiconductor ecosystem is likely to contribute to the development of cutting-edge AI technologies in the country.

While the success of these initiatives remains to be seen, the meeting signifies a crucial step towards a stronger and more innovative Indian telecom landscape.