Tele­com Gear Cos may Tap $1 b for In­dia-ASEAN Links

Line of credit to be used to pro­mote dig­i­tal con­nec­tiv­ity and en­hance ties

The Economic Times - - Companies: Pursuit Of Profit - Our Bureau

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.

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