Cisco Systems says it’s winning Indian telco deals to replace Huawei gear

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Cisco Systems claims that it has been winning business from Indian telecom operators to replace Huawei enterprise equipment as it works with telcos to develop vertical use cases.

Cisco APJ President of Service Provider Business Sanjay Kaul said that the company’s strength in the enterprise domain allows it to be in a better position to help operators develop telco-led enterprise use cases. 

His comments follow Huawei’s recent win of a transport network upgrade deal from Bharti Airtel worth $20 million. That deal was a part of a similar upgrade contract awarded in 2021 worth $40 million.

Cisco Systems is now increasing its focus on the Indian market by leveraging the government’s incentive scheme to start production of its networking products in India to serve domestic and global customers.

Cisco will make products via Jabil, which has a production facility in Maharashtra’s Pune city. Jabil, which was approved under the production-linked incentives scheme for telecom gear manufacturing, also makes radio products for Ericsson in the same factory.

Cisco Systems is also evaluating products that it is going to make, the report said, adding that this will be the third attempt by Cisco at “Make in India” in the last five years.

Kaul told the Economic Times that India can emerge as a true alternative to China for the industry.

“We need alternatives to China and every large company has been dependent on China for manufacturing. Strategically we want to do it as long as we have the ecosystem that’s ready to support,” he said.

The executive, however, said that for India to become a true alternative, the entire ecosystem, including components manufacturers, has to be built up as everything needs to come from outside. 

While Kaul was content with the recent policy push, he said that India needs to fast track to build up its ecosystem, terming it a “phenomenal” opportunity.

“The ecosystem needs to move much faster to India. It will be great to see India as a tangible alternative to Mexico, China and others,” he added.

Cisco Systems also makes products in Mexico and Malaysia. 

Anand Bhaskar, managing director of service providers at Cisco India and SAARC said the company is helping telco customers build the network, digitize their operation and work with enterprise customers to grow their revenue. 

“That’s our strength. Right now, we are in the testing phase with telcos on use cases, but we will make announcements at an appropriate time. We have gone to the next level with Airtel,” Bhaskar was quoted as saying in the same Economic Times report.

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