The Telecom Equipment Manufacturers’ Association of India (TEMA) has urged the government to provide 20 per cent -30 per cent reservation for indigenous companies in the proposed Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) 4G services tender.

To this end, TEMA has suggested that BSNL immediately procure 4G equipments from open tenders and compulsorily reserve at least 20 per cent or 30  per cent for domestic companies consortium, who can follow the route of proof of concept, initial deployment etc. That will allow 80 per cent or 70 per cent of network to be deployed by BSNL immediately for 4G.

According to TEMA, domestic companies are putting consortium of domestic manufacturers to stitch together 4G equipments.  CDOT, ITI, several local research and development (R&D) firms are playing critical role in the consortium to achieve their goal of manufacturing and supplying 4G equipment. Further, TEMA said that the proposed plan of government to ask domestic consortium for proof of concept, followed by one circle deployment and then full-scale implementation may delay implementation of 4G by BSNL at least by one or two years and that may not be in the interest of BSNL. As all domestic manufacturers depend on BSNL/ Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) for supplies, an approach should be considered where BSNL implements 4G fast and domestic manufacturing is also promoted.

The association has suggested that only companies with global headquarters in India and sharing source code with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) should be considered as indigenous telecom gear firms.