The global telecom equipment vendor has tied up major deals as India expands its 5G network and has tied up with a local partner
Global telecom infrastructure manufacturer Ericsson would be expanding its production capacity in India post signing up major deals with telecom operators for 5G equipment. The expansion plan would be in partnership with a local vendor and function from the latter’s facility in Pune, the company has said.
The company has tied up with Jabil, which currently manufactures 4G and 5G radios and radio access network computing products and microwave products. The latest expansion would target constructing Ericsson’s AIR 3219 and 3268 radios that integrate multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) antenna technology.
A joint venture that will bring 2000 new jobs
The capacity expansion project is likely to yield 2000 new jobs in the company, which is also in the process of setting up a new technology center designed to support the introduction and product engineering for new equipment and local deployments, says a company statement quoting Nunzio Mirtillo, head of Ericsson’s operations in Southeast Asia, Oceania and India.
The company has secured deals with the major telecom operators including Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel to provide 5G network equipment. “As 5G gets introduced in India, we are ramping up production of our 5G telecom equipment in Pune in a phased manner to support the network deployments of Indian telecom service providers,” the statement said.
Part of a global move, says Ericsson
“The production in India is part of our global production footprint with a presence across continents. This footprint has enabled us to secure a global, flexible, and resilient supply chain to respond quickly to market and customer needs, whereby India also benefits,” says Mirtillo.
The new facilities, though not specifically mentioned in the statement, is likely to be part of the government’s “Make in India” initiative as well as the productivity-linked-incentive (PLI) program that has resulted in India eyeing a global leadership role in telecom that includes smartphone manufacture and now infrastructure.
Action replay from US efforts of 2018
Readers would recall that Ericsson had faced a similar situation in 2018 when then US President Donald Trump had pressured telecom equipment vendors over their manufacturing capacity in China. Post the pandemic and the military skirmish in May 2020, India too has been articulating similar sentiments and urging companies to set up shop in the country.
In fact, four years ago, Ericsson’s North America CEO Niklas Heuveldop had mentioned that the company had long-term plans to park its resources and innovations closer to key customers in what was then perceived as a means to placate a country that accounted for at least a quarter of their overall sales.
Close on the heels of Ericsson’s move, other vendors such as Samsung and Nokia have also taken up a similar stance as both already have a production base in the country, either its own or in partnership. Chinese telecom infrastructure providers Huawei and ZTE have been left out of these deals following restrictions placed by the government on their entry.