Speaking at the 15th India Digital Summit, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) Chairman PD Vaghela outlined some of the steps that can be taken to make “speedy progress and to make India self-reliant” in the telecom space.
“We need to increase investment in research and development (R&D), this is very important…To be self-reliant in the technology space, which is critical for economic and statistical perspective, we need to transform from consumer to producer of technology,” he said.
To upgrade and expand technology development capabilities, investments need to be made in the complete ecosystem, including research, innovation, standardisation, product development, testing and certification, he added.
This requires a complete overhaul of the existing practices and policies and industry-academia linkages need to be established, he said.
“The commercial research innovations standardisation and product development need to be incentivised. Such innovation can also focus on meeting developing countries’ requirement in the most effective manner and this will open vast market for such products for India,” he added.
Vaghela said India’s IT industry capability can be leveraged to build, operate and maintain software products that can serve Indian as well as global telecom industry, at a reasonable price.
“We all know that the maximum value addition is in the technology development, designing of products and services over the life cycle. Keeping in view India’s strength in these areas, global companies have already started to establish their R&D centres in India. India has the potential to be a global leader in telecom software development and servicing space,” he added.
Government and regulators can play a major role in encouraging digital innovation and incentivising the development of digital technology for the benefit of society, he noted.
Vaghela said there is a need to push indigenous telecom products in India amid the booming growth in mobile and fixedline broadband as well as the rise of Industry 4.0 and digital automation.
“India has launched a series of market reforms in the last few years that form the foundation for enhancing India’s appeal as a manufacturing base. With the skill base in India that includes telecommunication also and the scale of domestic market and technology orientation, India presents an attractive option for global manufacturers,” he added.
Highlighting the growing consumption of data, Vaghela said the role of data centres attains equal importance towards becoming self-reliant in the digital space.
“…While India has taken a major leap in the digital space during the last six seven years, a lot is required to be achieved. And we all have to work together. This is one area where we can become self-reliant very fast if the government, industry and academia come together and come out with solutions to the some of the challenges, which we are facing,” he added.