As per telecom department officials aware of the details, these companies have also chosen to shift the year of their scheme to start from FY22-23, instead of FY21-22, thus forgoing their incentives for the year ended March as it was a precondition to shift timelines. They, however, will be availing much more benefits in the new five-year tenure of the scheme due to increased production, the officials said.
Overall, the department of telecommunications (DoT) has received additional investments to the tune of Rs 770 crore for the revised version of the PLI scheme, including those from new entrants to the scheme.
As per DoT, 42 firms, including 28 medium and small enterprises (MSMEs), have been selected for the updated telecom PLI scheme. Of the selected firms, 17 companies have applied for an additional incentive of 1% under design-led manufacturing criteria. The total investment commitments by the firms stand at Rs 4,115 crore. When the scheme was originally commissioned last year, 31 companies had been selected with projected investments of Rs 3,344.90 crore.
“This is to confirm that we have obtained approval under PLI 2.0 and will be making investments to expand our production in India. However, we are unable to share the investment figures,” a Nokia spokesperson told ET.
Query sent to Jabil, which manufactures telecom equipment for Ericsson, remained unanswered at the time of going to press.
Nokia and Ericsson have ramped up production of 5G equipment in the country as both Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel are rolling out their network. Both the telecom firms are primarily sourcing the equipment from the European vendors.When the telecom equipment firms applied for the PLI scheme last year, the production targets were a bit conservative as Indian operators had not started rolling out 5G.
The 5G equipment manufactured in the country was used for exports. However, the situation has changed with the launch of 5G services in India from October 1. Now the telcos are fast ramping up sites to provide 5G coverage across the country.
In 3-4 months, the telcos aim to add around 10,000 5G sites per week, from roughly 2,500 now.
Vodafone Idea is also looking to start laying its 5G network in coming months and is currently testing 5G at select locations.
The company though is yet to announce network vendor deals.