Four multinational telecom vendors split manufacturers association

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The Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association (TEMA) has pull apart in the middle with four global telecom vendors leaving the industry body.   Ericsson, Nokia Siemens, Alcatel Lucent and Qualcomm have quit the association on grounds that they were not being consulted before firming up views on key policy issues, says a  Hindu Business Line report.

“TEMA is coming out with media statements and writing letters to senior government officials on subject such as manufacturing, green telecom for which TEMA secretariat have neither contacted us nor have they based their statements on actual facts. It is also surprising that the secretariat did not share any of these communications with us before making it public,” the four companies said in a joint letter to TEMA.

While Ericsson, Nokia Siemens and Alcatel Lucent account for much of the network equipment market, Qualcomm has a significant presence in the mobile chipset segment. The primary cause for the split is the proposed telecom manufacturing policy wherein TEMA has taken a position in favour of domestic players. The policy, when implemented, will make it compulsory for telecom companies to buy a certain percentage of their requirements from local manufacturers. Foreign companies are opposing this policy on grounds that it violates WTO norms.

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The four companies have told TEMA to immediately remove their logos and names from the association’s Web site and all documents and papers within 15 days. They have threatened to take legal action if TEMA does not comply.

When contacted, Ashok Agarwal, director general, TEMA, said that the exit by the four MNC firms will have no impact on the industry body. “TEMA’s mandate is to push for policies that encourage domestic manufacturing and it is for individual members to decide whether they want to associate with this vision or not,”  Agarwal said.

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