The TRAI has recommended for the formation of a unit within the DoT to promote the manufacture of domestic telecom equipment.
In its release that gave out recommendations on promoting local telecom equipment manufacturing, TRAI recommended that the DoT unit would also be responsible for the “facilitation and monitoring of telecommunication equipment design, development, and manufacturing in the country.”
According to PTI, the long-term goal of these recommendations is to help achieve India net zero telecom imports by 2022. “For this purpose, Telecom Equipment Manufacturing Council (TEMC) should identify and recommend specific areas of prirorities,” TRAI said in a statement.
TRAI has recommended that the establishment of a Telecom Research and Development Fund (TRDF), with an initial corpus of INR 1,000 crore. The fund should seek to promote research and innovation for the designing, manufacturing and testing domestic telecom equipment.
According to reports, TRAI also recommended the formation of a Telecom Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund (TEPF) and a Telecom Manufacturing Promotion Fund (TMPF).
The telecom regulator also called for the formation of a Telecommunication Equipment Development Board (TEDB) in the (DoT) for the speedier decision taking over the prospects of funding and the provision of incentives.
To this extent, TRAI further recommended that all telecom products should be marked with their manufacturing origin. Products should be classified as either “fully finished imported products” or “Indigenous products.”
TRAI also recommended that universities and technical institutes should be identified and set up near existing telecom “product development clusters”. The universities should offer specializations in telecommunication technologies and system design, and be equipped with telecommunication technology and systems design labs.
The telecom regulator also called for the simplification of securing permissions for experimenting and testing with new technology.
Acknowledging the role of intellectual property in the sector, it recommended the creation of patent information cells in leading universities and technical institutions to expand one’s understanding about patent filing policies and procedures. TRAI also recommended an alternative dispute resolution framework for time-bound patent licensing disputes.