UTStarcom has operations and customers around the world, with a special focus on Japan and India. Please comment on the Indian aspect.
As a global telecom infrastructure provider, UTStarcom provides next-generation broadband telecommunication solutions to its customers worldwide. Specifically, India has been one of the key markets in the last several years for us. We have been working with customers in India and the SAARC region including key telecom operators and service providers since 2005. Here are some examples of what we have done over the years of our presence in the market: we have provided large volumes of our products and solutions; we successfully executed multiple turnkey projects; and we have and will continue to offer management and maintenance services for a number of networks in the region. Our mission in India is to build faster, more reliable and cost-effective networks based on the latest technologies, enabling fast adoption of modern communication services across India. To that point, we are making continuous efforts to bring our products and solutions that address the needs of India market. Furthermore, in order to meet price requirements of the market, we embrace the Make in India campaign and work with local manufacturing companies to produce our equipment in India.
In January 2019, you announced two significant Wi-Fi projects wins in India with BSNL and your plan to provide Wireless Access Points, Power over Ethernet Switches, Wireless Controllers and other related components and services for the projects. Please comment.
This is correct. The announcement was related to the two major projects with BSNL that were implemented as part of the government’s Digital India initiative. The first project is focused on the build-out of network infrastructure, enabling internet connectivity for people in over 1000 gram panchayats across seven states in Northern and North-Eastern India. UTStarcom provided all of the Wi-Fi equipment for the project as you accurately listed in your question. The other project, the large-scale rural public Wi-Fi hotspot network – has been implemented through the partnership with ITI Limited. In this project, BSNL deploys 25000 Wi-Fi hotspots across rural India including Western (Gujarat state) and Northern (Rajasthan, Punjab states) parts of India to provide data services to the rural population in those underserved regions. In this project, Wi-Fi equipment is supplied by several vendors, including UTStarcom. In both projects, UTStarcom’s equipment is used, and network roll-out is in progress.
What role does UTStarcom see for itself in 5G rollouts in India?
India is not only getting ready for 5G roll-out, but actively participates in the technology development and contributes to the industry’s standardization process. Frequency and licenses allocation process is underway too. With that, I am confident that 5G will come as an optimal solution for the India market. It will not only serve as an ubiquitous broadband technology, but will also help implement many other much-needed use cases, including applications in agriculture, telemedicine, smart cities, and many others. One of the important aspects related to 5G rollout is the transport network infrastructure – a critical pre-requisite and enabler of efficient 5G network deployment. That is where UTStarcom’s solutions come into play, providing excellent transport network for 5G based on our cutting-edge packet optical networking technologies and products. Our next-generation communications platform SkyFlux integrates several key technologies, including Flex Ethernet (FlexE), lightweight TDM Ethernet transport, segment-routing tunneling technology, and highly accurate time synchronization over packet – all tightly integrated with software-defined networking (SDN) platform. We believe that this unique platform provides a perfect solution for 4G/5G mobile network transport that can meet all the complex requirements.
The Smart City concept that strongly depends on telecom and IT solutions must potentially be of significant interest to UTStarcom. Please elaborate on what role you play in the smart city ecosystem in India.
The Smart City is a big and wide concept developed with an idea to improve quality of life of city inhabitants, achieve sustainability and optimize resource utilization, improve security, provide wide range of services to city residents and guests, and boost city economy in general. Implementation of this concept involves all kinds of IT and telecommunication technologies and solutions, which are our key competence. We closely follow the smart city trends in India and are ready to support related projects with our solutions on different layers of smart city infrastructure. Our fixed line and wireless broadband access solutions provide connectivity for various smart city elements. Wireless technologies are particularly important in order to provide ubiquitous connectivity with high density of connected devices regardless of location. Our Carrier Wi-Fi solution is an excellent fit for this application – highly scalable solution based on the latest 802.11ac wave 2 and 802.11ax technologies providing excellent coverage, performance, and capacity. Aggregation and delivery of large volumes of smart city traffic can be efficiently implemented using our packet optical network solutions, including CPAN packet-aggregation network and our newest SkyFlux platform. On top of the telecommunication networking platforms, UTStarcom offers variety of intelligent IoT elements and integrated solutions, including smart retail, smart streetlight, and others that are elements of the smart city infrastructure. Our advanced solutions, along with our strong local presence and turn-key project capabilities, make us exceptionally well-positioned to facilitate quick and efficient implementation of smart cities in India.