Telecom Gear Cos may Tap $1 b for India-ASEAN Links
Line of credit to be used to promote digital connectivity and enhance ties
New Delhi: Indian telecom equipment makers may finally get access to a $1billion (.`6,700 crore) line of credit to promote digital connectivity between India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a top government official said on Monday. In November 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had proposed in Kuala Lumpur a $1 billion line of credit to support digital connectivity and undertake network-driven initiatives. The group includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam that are keenly looking at India for telecommunicationcentric partnerships.
“$1 billion line of credit was committed at the 13th ASEAN summit in 2015. Now, we can use this fund to start implementation,” telecom secretary JS Deepak said at an industry event on Monday, adding that partnerships between regional countries could be mutually beneficial.
The government is exploring the possibility on how the current fund can be used to enhance cooperation with the ASEAN.
Deepak, supporting the local telecom equipment manufacturers, stressed that Indian companies, based on extensive R&D and a robust product portfolio, can provide ‘unique proposition’ well suited to the needs of developing countries. The official also said that the ASEAN should also look at leveraging solarbacked systems.
One of the local gear firms, Vihaan Networks, has implemented solarpowered telecom towers in Alwar district to facilitate Internet connectivity in the area. “The products designed are affordable and give value for money,” he said, adding, “We encourage and allow our companies to share technology and take joint manufacturing initiatives with other countries.”
The potential of partnerships in the telecom space, is huge and the cooperation in specific areas is possible with previous discussions around GSM and broadband technologies, optical fibre cable design and rural broadband network.