New public enterprise for Telecom equipments?

nrj

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EVEN as the government goes ahead with disinvestment in a number of public enterprises, it needs to seriously think about setting up a new state-owned enterprise (SOE), to make telecom network equipment. A new SOE, in this day and age of reform and liberalisation? Here is why we need one.

India needs indigenous telecom equipment manufacturing capability for long-term comparative advantage and to protect national security. India is the fastest-growing telecom market in the world, with crores of new entrants to the dynamic new India proudly announcing their arrival flaunting their mobile phones. Billions of dollars worth of telecom equipment is bought by Indian companies on a regular basis. The orders go to Ericsson, Nokia-Siemens or Huawei, by and large. What these companies have in common, apart from being telecom equipment makers, is that they are non-Indian. There is no large Indian manufacturer of telecom equipment.

Public sector ITI is a joke, from the time when it used to front for foreign telecom equipment makers in the early 1990s, securing orders as an Indian supplier, buying practically all they supplied from foreign producers at the price they dictated, adding some Indian gloss here or turning a screw there.

Modern telecom equipment is basically software. Even the hardware is a lot of software preprogrammed into microchips. India is supposed to be good at software. And two, at least, of India's information technology giants, Wipro and HCL, make both hardware and software. But they have not ventured into telecom equipment. They have easy pickings elsewhere. Shyam and Himachal Futuristics are relatively small players. TechMahindra provides telecom solutions, but is a pure service company. Indian industry has chosen to abdicate this vital sector to foreign companies.

This has huge security implications. Cyber warfare is a new front of possible national aggression that can bring a nation to its knees, without the assailant so much as firing a toy gun. Entire systems crucial for the functioning of the economy run on computer networks. Supervisory control and data capture (Scada) is geeky jargon for most of us. Scada systems allow processes to be controlled from remote units. From large industrial operations to railway signalling through power despatches on the grid and shutting or opening dam sluice gates are controlled by Scada systems. Banks, stock markets and share depositories all run on computer networks. All of these can be messed up, made to misbehave, if some malign agent gains control over the system. Cyber security goes far beyond securing computers in the prime minister's office or in the defence establishment.

A source of vulnerability is the telecom equipment on which the networks run. This is why public sector BSNL is asked to steer clear of Chinese supplier Huawei, jacking up its equipment costs even as private operators happily buy and install Huawei equipment.

One way to ensure security is to acquire the expertise and capability to debug every piece of telecom equipment deployed in the country. The saner option is to build indigenous capability to make telecom equipment, because of the positive externalities the industry will have for boosting growth across the convergence space.

But it would be a tough challenge. Tens of thousands of people would have to be put to dedicated R&D, for a beginning (Huawei reportedly has 35,000 people doing this). The private sector doesn't have the stomach for this. The state should step in to fill the vacuum.

Every Jindal, Bhushan and Mittal today makes good quality steel. The state can safely exit the sector, without harming the economy. No Nadar, Premji or Mahindra has come forward to make telecom equipment, vital for national security and dynamic comparative advantage. So, the state should step in. And entrust the task of building a globally-competitive telecom equipment maker to a new avatar of V Krishnamoorthy, Sam Pitroda or E Sreedharan, who have shown that, given autonomy and resources, the Indian public sector can deliver wonders.

The icing on the cake is that such a move to set up a new SOE would shut up those ideologues who try to mobilize opposition to disinvestment calling it a neoliberal something or the other.

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nrj

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Move on!

Union of India being largest Democracy, accommodating giant population must have capability to develop & manufacture indigenous Network Equipments on its own. Its more than just fabricating device, its as rightly said having reliability of operating on desi Network without foreign involvement of any kind.

Cyberspace is the battleground of this century. Today foundation of any Armed Force is Telecommunication Network. Affordability, mass scale availability, self reliance are several starting huge advantages of such capability. Requirement concept to installation to maintenance to upgradation would be handled in-home if this project realized.

We are talking about creating central database of every National data starting with UID involving minute details of every citizen. Why Nation be dependent on foreign devices to operate? This was definitely not the vision of Self Reliant India at the time of creation. Our founding fathers dreamt a very prosperous nation having control on the very variables of casted prosperity.

So IMVHO, instead of wasting time on banning individual devices of China, placing new orders to western friends or wait till someone find blow in imported firangi equipments, GOI should step in for such project at earliest.

Concept, Feasibility, funding should be claused in the very 5th year planning. Steps should initiate NOW if we really want developed India by 2020 or India 2020 will remain just a cheap Marketing lunacy.
 

mattster

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Huawei may have 35,000 today doing R&D, but remember they started off copying Cisco stuff lock, stock and barrel.
They even copied the software source-code, manuals, and even the mistakes in the source code and manuals - it became a standing joke.
Eventually they settled then lawsuit by Cisco.

India should definitely start its own version of Huawei. There are enough Telecom talent in India to start a dedicated navaratna that manufactures Telecom hardware. Small startup companies also have a lot of talent. Plus there is a ton of Indians in all facets of Telecom industry here in the US.
An Indian company should be able to lure some of these people back home.

It would also create hundreds of thousands of jobs.
 
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nimo_cn

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Huawei may have 35,000 today doing R&D, but remember they started off copying Cisco stuff lock, stock and barrel.
They even copied the software source-code, manuals, and even the mistakes in the source code and manuals - it became a standing joke.
Eventually they settled then lawsuit by Cisco.
Copy the software source-code of Cisco?
How could you do that? Can you copy the source-code of Window 7?

I am always amused by the way some Indian members belittle Chinese success in some areas.

Chinese copies! That is a very brilliant and comforting explanation to the fact that China is ahead of India.
China's weapons are copied from Russia, Chinese telecom equipments are copied from Cisco, ...
These explanations make it much easier to accept the fact India is left behind, because India doesn't copy, you must feel very proud of that.
 

nrj

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Copy the software source-code of Cisco?
How could you do that? Can you copy the source-code of Window 7?

I am always amused by the way some Indian members belittle Chinese success in some areas.

Chinese copies! That is a very brilliant and comforting explanation to the fact that China is ahead of India.
China's weapons are copied from Russia, Chinese telecom equipments are copied from Cisco, ...
These explanations make it much easier to accept the fact India is left behind, because India doesn't copy, you must feel very proud of that.
I won't comment on does China copy or not.

But, I am damn proud of fact that We don't copy. We are never embarrassed. However it has never left India behind, India has progressed from country of no achievements to one of the elites.

When India's space program was initiated, ISRO scientists made computer systems literally from circuit boards. China or no other country can state that India is left behind.
 

safia1230

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Recently got a mobile broadband dongle for my laptop, shows 7.2 Mbps speed in the status window and under activity the received bytes is shooting up, as I write this is has went from 25,000,000 to 35,000,000, that's about 10 mg for a few seconds, it does this even when I have no page open, I can't see anything in task manager, I don't know why it's downloading so fast when there's nothing there, also because of this it is slowing my browsing down, any ideas why it's doing this?
 

kumar khokhar

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Very good for indian telecom industry,which is slowly dying because of extremely high work pressure and salary cuts and high attrition rates,also to some extent lack of job security,
i have worked with ITI technical people .they are out dated,in this world of embbedded system they still rely on less efficient hard wired products and can hardly bear the work pressure in private sector.

Good to see indian made BTS along with cheap, over heated,good for scrap chinese telecom equipments.and also full of bugs.
 
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kumar khokhar

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Copy the software source-code of Cisco?
How could you do that? Can you copy the source-code of Window 7?

I am always amused by the way some Indian members belittle Chinese success in some areas.

Chinese copies! That is a very brilliant and comforting explanation to the fact that China is ahead of India.
China's weapons are copied from Russia, Chinese telecom equipments are copied from Cisco, ...
These explanations make it much easier to accept the fact India is left behind, because India doesn't copy, you must feel very proud of that.
i have seen ericsson/nokia make bts copies of chinese zte make bts my self at tecom cell sites.chinese equipment good in only coming L1 in govt tenders,otherwise no better.i think beetle/micromax can start/invest in R&D since they have recently sucedded in tracking indian consumer pulse so have good money to investin research.also there are telecom operator like vediocon and airtel ,old and forgotten t- series/BPL/onida which can at least start something
 
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Nagraj

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Restart the comp "if it's windows OS " i know know it's funny but restarting does solve many in windows
Recently got a mobile broadband dongle for my laptop, shows 7.2 Mbps speed in thet status window and under activity the received bytes is shooting up, as I write this is has went from 25,000,000 to 35,000,000, that's about 10 mg for a few seconds, it does this even when I have no page open, I can't see anything in task manager, I don't know why it's downloading so fast when there's nothing there, also because of this it is slowing my browsing down, any ideas why it's doing this?
 

SPIEZ

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This has huge security implications. Cyber warfare is a new front of possible national aggression that can bring a nation to its knees, without the assailant so much as firing a toy gun. Entire systems crucial for the functioning of the economy run on computer networks. Supervisory control and data capture (Scada) is geeky jargon for most of us. Scada systems allow processes to be controlled from remote units. From large industrial operations to railway signalling through power despatches on the grid and shutting or opening dam sluice gates are controlled by Scada systems. Banks, stock markets and share depositories all run on computer networks. All of these can be messed up, made to misbehave, if some malign agent gains control over the system.
SCADA stands for SUPERVISORY CONTROL AND DATA ACQUISITION. As such the major vendors of SCADA are from abroad. Most of it is not Indian. More so SCADA for USA metro's or subways are developed in India.

Cyber security goes far beyond securing computers in the prime minister's office or in the defence establishment.
India is the emerging place for ethical hackers. The worlds best hackers though are currently from Germany.
 

Ray

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Telecom equipment should be Indian.
 

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