The Russian Government recently approved a roadmap under the National Project on Digital Economy which requires that Russian operators of fifth-generation telecom networks (5G) use domestic servers.
The rationale behind the decision is that funds allocated for the Digital Economy should be used to support domestic producers rather than “go to foreign companies,” the Russian business daily RBC reported, citing government sources with knowledge of the developments.
The Cabinet plans to spend $10bn to develop 5G networks in Russia by 2024. In addition to supporting domestic producers, using domestic server equipment is expected to protect 5G operators from possible sanctions-related disruptions in imported component supplies.
At this stage, there’s no domestic production even of server components. The roadmap says that Russian companies should establish R&D partnerships with international producers of server equipment to develop competitive domestic analogs. Some experts approached for opinion said that the lack of competitive domestic equipment might also necessitate localization of imports by creating joint ventures with leading U.S., European, or Chinese manufacturers.
This story initially appeared in Marchmont Innovation News, Russia’s daily business news website.