One of the fastest growing big economies, India is the second-largest telecom market in the world and the third largest market for 4G handsets. Already having a strong presence among domestic telecom operators, UTStarcom has big plans and high hopes of supporting the lightning fast pace at which networks in India continue to evolve.
Q: What is UTStarcom’s current footprint in India? Do you have any expansion plans in the pipeline?
A: As a global telecom infrastructure provider, UTStarcom operates in many countries worldwide, but India telecommunications market grew to be one of our key and high-priority markets. We have been working in India for long time and have a strong presence with customers and partners including some of the largest telecom market players. We have multiple offices in different parts of the country to support virtually all functions required to efficiently provide sales, deployment (up to full turn-key), and post-sales services to our customers. Over the course of the last decade we have seen massive deployments of our platforms including FTTx, MSAN and other broadband products. Among our recent success stories is the upgrade of state-run telco BSNL’s network to offer next-gen multimedia services to its customers. UTStarcom is also deeply involved in talks with Indian telecom operators for the deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots across the country, having deployed already 14,000 access points for 3329 hotspots for BSNL in North and Eastern zones for the latter’s NGN project.
“We have been working in India for long time and have a strong presence with customers and partners including some of the largest telecom market players.”
CEO & Director
The company is planning the start of local manufacturing. We will start local contract manufacturing initially, followed by an EMS factory going ahead. We are finalizing selection and arrangements with a local partner.
Q: Are there any global trends in the communications industry that you see coming into India in the near future?
A: The rapid development of cloud services, streaming video and other bandwidth-hungry applications, as well as tremendous popularity of smart mobile devices have been driving the explosive growth of traffic in recent years. Being one of the fastest growing big economies, and the second-largest telecom market in the world, India is experiencing a very fast growth of data consumption. It creates pressure upon operators and drives upgrades of networks on all levels – from access to aggregation and core. 4G networks has already become a commonplace making India the third largest market for 4G handsets worldwide. At the same time, Carrier Wi-Fi is booming in Indian market supported by government-backed initiatives and commercial deployments. India has been outpacing global trends in terms of growth rate. The adoption of new technologies including IoT, M2M, Smart City, etc. brings about a change in requirements in terms of very low latency, high service availability, energy efficiency, etc. The coming of 5G in 2020 is going to address these issues in addition to promise of higher speeds and large capacity, but will also require a change in backhaul and aggregation network technologies. We expect that initial deployments and tests of 5G technologies in India will start not much later than globally.
Another important trend is adoption of 100GE technology in metro aggregation networks. This technology has already reached good economic indicators as compared to multi-10GE deployments, and the number of deployments is growing quickly although adoption in India market is modest. We believe that in view of swift growth of traffic volumes and with migration from legacy to next gen networks, the need for 100GE in Metro networks in India will take shape and active deployments will start within 2-3 years. SDN and NFV technologies will address unprecedented programmability, automation, and network control for improved network flexibility, service agility, and extended feature set.
Q: Briefly tell us about UTStarcom’s offerings in India. What are your sales channels?
A: We leverage our extensive expertise in packet optical transport, broadband access, Wi-Fi and next-gen video platforms to develop state-of-the-art products for different market segments and applications. We offer efficient broadband access solutions covering wired and wireless applications, including MSAN, Carrier Wi-Fi and broadband network core elements, highly scalable mobile backhaul solution based on our NetRing packet optical platform. We address the complex issue of stringent synchronization accuracy required for modern LTE/LTE-A networks with use of our high-precision over-the-network synchronization solution SyncRing. We enable massive broadband traffic growth with our 10/100GE ecosystem of packet optical access and metro aggregation network infrastructure. Our innovative transport SDN solution SOO Network offers unprecedented programmability, automation, and network control for improved network flexibility, service agility, and extended feature set.
With strong local presence, we are positioned to efficiently work with customers directly. In complex projects that involve not only our own products, but a variety of different products and solutions, we find it efficient to cooperate with local system integrators.
Q: Where do you see yourself positioned in the Indian smart city ecosystem?
A: The concept of smart city is all about information: collection of data from sensors, data exchange with smart IoT devices, processing, analysis, storing of large amounts of data in datacenters. That is where UTStarcom’s solutions in particular come into play: data collection and delivery requires 100% network infrastructure penetration both fixed line and wireless with use of smart, flexible, resilient and scalable telecom solutions that will be able to efficiently address the constantly growing need for traffic delivery and serve various existing applications and emerging technologies such as IoT and M2M.
Our product portfolio serves telecom needs of smart city deployments from access to aggregation and core. Our access networking solutions offering for Smart City initiatives include multiple technologies both fixed line and wireless. The later is extremely important to provide ubiquitous connectivity regardless of location. The solution for aggregation networking infrastructure of a smart city based on our NG-PTN products is optimized for metro networks and provides highly scalable transport network solution for number of applications including (1) mobile backhaul solution to facilitate implementation of full city mobile coverage by various mobile technologies, and (2) metro aggregation network for efficient data exchange between various elements of Smart City infrastructure, and reliable data delivery to Data Centres.
Q: How do you see the Indian communications infrastructure market shaping up by 2020?
A: Thanks to several favorable factors including swift growth of Indian economy, liberalization of telecom industry, strong government support, we would expect Indian telecom market to continue growing at significantly high rate resulting in higher broadband penetration, improved service coverage and quality; and creating millions of jobs.
In 2020, it is expected that commercial deployments of 5G networks will start worldwide, giving a huge technological boost to wide adoption of IoT and other related technologies, driving upgrades of backhaul and transport infrastructures. On the other hand, we can expect major acquisitions and mergers on Indian telecom market to be finalized by that time, decreasing competitive pressure, improving profitability and allowing market players to focus their attention and resources on development of their telecom infrastructure.