PM Modi wants more made-in-India hardware to make 5g era affordable


“Is it possible that the MSME sector will receive work to manage the manufacture of small hardware parts? A very large ecosystem would be created! This is the strength of our MSME sector,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during the 5G launch event at India Mobile Congress 2022 in Delhi on Saturday.

One of the many benefits of launching 5G in India is the country’s MSME sector. During his speech on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on telecom operators to outsource equipment for the new technology to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), as he believes it would further reduce the cost and the would make it more affordable, both for the regular consumer and businesses.

The Prime Minister launched 5G services in India on Saturday at the India Mobile Congress 2022 in Delhi.

Modi cited the example of cars and said they come in many types, with features, by many brands and so on. However, spare parts for these are manufactured by the MSME sector. “Someone from the MSME sector makes spare parts for six different cars, with a few improvements here and there, and then supplies them,” he said.

A recent study by the Indian Council for Research on International Relations (ICRIER) showed that India “pursues two interrelated goals simultaneously”. First, to get global manufacturers like Apple and Samsung to manufacture their products in India and, at the same time, push for the supply of inputs from India.

Earlier during the launch event, the Prime Minister visited each of the stands of telecom majors – Jio, Airtel and Vodafone India – and interacted with their management. “It gave me a lot of happiness when they said their products and services are indigenous, ‘atmanirbhar’. However, from your speech, I think you are just putting the material,” Modi told telecos during his speech. “Is it possible for the MSME sector to be given work to manage the manufacturing of the small hardware parts? A very large ecosystem would be created! This is the strength of our MSME sector,” he said, adding that the telcos will then just have to add their own uniqueness with the software and everything and provide the service.

“I’m not a business person, but I think it will cut costs more. You’ll have to do it as an industry together,” he said.

The government has taken various measures to give a boost to the technology industry in the country. India has already introduced a production-linked incentive for tech companies. Now a report of Bloomberg says the Indian government may be considering offering an additional Rs 4,500 crore (about $550 million) per manufacturer. This would depend on local component sourcing and could amount to the equivalent of around 6% of finished product sales, according to the report.

“Educating people on the uses of 5G to create a bigger market”

The Prime Minister also pointed out that 5G is not just about making calls and downloading or uploading videos faster.

“I urge you to educate people in every neighborhood on the usefulness of 5G in everyday life,” he told telecos.

Only once people know the different ways this new technology can be used can they apply it to their daily lives. And then there may be a new market for all the things 5G can be used for, Modi said.

“I urge you to arrange for the uses of 5G to be known in schools, colleges, universities, in every district of the country. And you will see that they will also ensure that there is value added,” he added.

The prime minister said the new technology was to reach all 1.3 billion Indians just once. “After that, they’ll take it to new heights, you’ll see,” he concluded.

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