Parag Naik is seeking government support for a 5G radio unit base on its software-defined radio chipset. He tells ETTelecom's Muntazir Abbas
"The government needs to think strategically with a 5-year plan of building telecom gear giants in India with monetary and market support. It has to incentivize more R&D investments in this sector. ... Our 5G Remote Units will be available from Q1 of 2021.
We have around 65 patents on [cognitive radio and 5G broadcast]. ... DoT can play a major role in carrying out the actual implementation of Atmanirbhar Bharat. ... Building RAN chipsets and solutions is a capital-intensive business, we need monetary support and market access to mature some of our solutions. Telecom network equipment requires a lot of field testing, trials, and hard for any new player that comes along. This is the only way to make Indian companies globally competitive."
Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India) is India's answer to Made in China & Made in the U.S.A. Indian protectionism is succeeding in moving some phone manufacturing to the country.
Foxconn is now building iPhone 11's in Chennai. Nokia and Ericsson are under pressure to "make in India." Economists like Nobel Laureates Joe Stiglitz and Paul Krugman have destroyed the claim "free trade is always best." This is particularly true in emerging "infant industries."
Open RAN was initially expected to run on cheap, off-the-shelf equipment. But 5G requires extraordinary performance. Tareq Amin, a pioneer, had to spend "hundreds of millions" on custom chips. The TIP program isn't close to delivering Massive MIMO in a RU, probably the most important feature for capacity. See Open RAN Experts: Not quite ready for prime time
Naik is right that a small company is likely to need extensive support.