ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Technology Acquisition and Development-Case of Telecom Switching Equipment

The purpose of the paper is to analyse the direct economic costs of technology import in one of the important components of the telecom equipment industry viz. the switching equipment industry It also analyses the efforts made by the state-owned ITI towards absorbing imported technology and developing local capabilities. The analysis shows that successive imports have been effected at a high cost and its subsequent assimilation has been extremely tardy with the result that technological dependence in the industry has been extremely high. Though the industry has one of the highest research intensities, much of the R and D effort has gone towards adaptation of the inappropriate technologies that have been imported. The country has moved across the technological frontier but this has been done without properly absorbing previously imported technologies. Development of local capabilities consistent with the usage pattern existing in the country has received serious attention only with the creation of C-DOT THE distinguishing feature of the telecom sector in India is that both the manufacturing of telecom equipment ax well as the distribution of telecom services have been entirely the monopoly of the state. The manufacturing sector is further sub-divided into switching, transmission and terminal equipment, The virtual monopoly of the state in all these areas has been eroded with the recent deregulation of certain segments of the manufacturing sector allowing private sector investments into these for the first time. The distribution sector too has undergone a major restructuring with the distribution of telecom services in the metropolitan cities of New Delhi and Bombay being vested under a separate corporation. Adnfinistratively too the creation of the Telecom Commission is another recent change.

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