Interview with Pankaj Gandhi, Director, Wireless Sales, India, CommScope

Interview with Pankaj Gandhi, Director, ...

CommScope provides radio frequency (RF)-based products and solutions to operators for establishing wired and wireless networks. To consolidate its market position in the country, the company is currently working on developing innovative products, such as base station antenna solutions for LTE networks, Sentinel microwave antennas, etc, which are expected to help operators increase data traffic, and enhance return-on-network investment.

In an interview with tele.net.in, Pankaj Gandhi, director, wireless sales, India, CommScope talks about the opportunities offered by the Indian telecom industry, the challenges before the company and its future plans. Excerpts…

How has CommScope performed in the Indian telecom market so far?

The company started operations in India in 1997 as Andrew Telecommunications India and was subsequently acquired by CommScope in 2007. Today, CommScope has established itself firmly in this space and has inked several significant partnerships with various telecom operators and original equipment manufacturers. We have two sales offices for our wireless business in Delhi and Mumbai, as well as a large manufacturing facility and warehouse in Goa. The manufacturing unit has the capacity to produce RF cables and base station and microwave antennas.

How does the Indian telecom market compare with the global market?

India has one of the largest and fastest growing telecom markets in the world, with more than 800 million mobile users. The telecom sector is a key contributor to the country’s economic growth, accounting for nearly three per cent of the gross domestic product.

Moreover, the Indian telecom market is uniquely positioned, with 2G, 3G and 4G technologies co-existing and hence cannot be directly compared with global markets. In countries like United States and Japan, where the market for long term evolution (LTE) is growing, the demand for 2G services has declined sharply. According to various estimates, 2G services will be phased out in several countries in the future. However, in India, even after the launch of 3G and LTE, a majority of consumers are still using 2G.

How is the company placed vis-a-vis competition?

CommScope creates the infrastructure that connects people and technologies. Our portfolio of end-to-end solutions includes the critical infrastructure our customers need to build high-performing wired and wireless networks.

In India, we have been proactive in launching 4G 2.3 GHz base station antennas and are in the process of introducing 700 MHz antennas. We’ve also launched the Sentine microwave antenna technology designed to address the three biggest challenges facing wireless network operators ­ rapidly increasing data traffic, spectrum scarcity and return on network investment. A few years ago, we launched the HELIAX FXL RF cable with smooth wall technology.

What are the company’s focus areas in the country?

We want to maintain our position as the leading provider of RF path solutions which will help wireless carriers manage cell site complexity and optimise network planning, capacity, coverage and performance. We will focus on pushing our new solutions like the Sentinel microwave antenna and base station antenna solutions for LTE and our latest generation of Heliax cables.

As a part of our strategy to address local business and industry demands, we will continue to work with our customers on fuel cells and location based solutions. A fuel cell is the green solution for power generation at cell sites and is a matured and reliable product. In India, the company has already conducted two active trials using fuel cells

What are the challenges before CommScope?

The Indian telecom market has gone through trying times but it is still growing and offers tremendous opportunities for us. There is long term sustainability for the business here despite some growth challenges we expect to encounter in the near future. There is still a vast geography to be covered and an insatiable uptake of data services that we need to tap. We expect the market to remain strong in the middle to long term.

What are the emerging trends in the Indian telecom market?

India is a unique market where data growth is taking place more on 2G, which is a positive sign, as it builds a stronger platform for 3G and 4G services. Operators are investing on expanding and optimising the capacity of their existing networks to cope with increased demand of data and bandwidth.

How have technologies like 3G and 4G impacted business opportunities for CommScope in India?

3G and 4G technologies offer immense opportunities for CommScope as these services provide a platform for consumers to experience various high speed data services. Mobile operators aim to optimise their network infrastructure and ensure smooth deployments of these next-generation technologies.

We have experienced immediate growth in our business after the launch of 3G services as well as increased demand for in-building solutions. Also, with 4G-based networks expected to be rolled out shortly, we can expect greater adoption of Heterogeneous Network (HetNet), as it would enable operators to provide a seamless 4G experience. HetNet includes two interlinking layers designed to provide coverage and capacity.

 

Interview with Pankaj Gandhi, Director, Wireless Sales, India, CommScope

Interview with Pankaj Gandhi, Director, ...

CommScope provides radio frequency (RF)-based products and solutions to operators for establishing wired and wireless networks. To consolidate its market position in the country, the company is currently working on developing innovative products, such as base station antenna solutions for LTE networks, Sentinel microwave antennas, etc, which are expected to help operators increase data traffic, and enhance return-on-network investment.

In an interview with tele.net.in, Pankaj Gandhi, director, wireless sales, India, CommScope talks about the opportunities offered by the Indian telecom industry, the challenges before the company and its future plans. Excerpts…

How has CommScope performed in the Indian telecom market so far?

The company started operations in India in 1997 as Andrew Telecommunications India and was subsequently acquired by CommScope in 2007. Today, CommScope has established itself firmly in this space and has inked several significant partnerships with various telecom operators and original equipment manufacturers. We have two sales offices for our wireless business in Delhi and Mumbai, as well as a large manufacturing facility and warehouse in Goa. The manufacturing unit has the capacity to produce RF cables and base station and microwave antennas.

How does the Indian telecom market compare with the global market?

India has one of the largest and fastest growing telecom markets in the world, with more than 800 million mobile users. The telecom sector is a key contributor to the country’s economic growth, accounting for nearly three per cent of the gross domestic product.

Moreover, the Indian telecom market is uniquely positioned, with 2G, 3G and 4G technologies co-existing and hence cannot be directly compared with global markets. In countries like United States and Japan, where the market for long term evolution (LTE) is growing, the demand for 2G services has declined sharply. According to various estimates, 2G services will be phased out in several countries in the future. However, in India, even after the launch of 3G and LTE, a majority of consumers are still using 2G.

How is the company placed vis-a-vis competition?

CommScope creates the infrastructure that connects people and technologies. Our portfolio of end-to-end solutions includes the critical infrastructure our customers need to build high-performing wired and wireless networks.

In India, we have been proactive in launching 4G 2.3 GHz base station antennas and are in the process of introducing 700 MHz antennas. We’ve also launched the Sentine microwave antenna technology designed to address the three biggest challenges facing wireless network operators ­ rapidly increasing data traffic, spectrum scarcity and return on network investment. A few years ago, we launched the HELIAX FXL RF cable with smooth wall technology.

What are the company’s focus areas in the country?

We want to maintain our position as the leading provider of RF path solutions which will help wireless carriers manage cell site complexity and optimise network planning, capacity, coverage and performance. We will focus on pushing our new solutions like the Sentinel microwave antenna and base station antenna solutions for LTE and our latest generation of Heliax cables.

As a part of our strategy to address local business and industry demands, we will continue to work with our customers on fuel cells and location based solutions. A fuel cell is the green solution for power generation at cell sites and is a matured and reliable product. In India, the company has already conducted two active trials using fuel cells

What are the challenges before CommScope?

The Indian telecom market has gone through trying times but it is still growing and offers tremendous opportunities for us. There is long term sustainability for the business here despite some growth challenges we expect to encounter in the near future. There is still a vast geography to be covered and an insatiable uptake of data services that we need to tap. We expect the market to remain strong in the middle to long term.

What are the emerging trends in the Indian telecom market?

India is a unique market where data growth is taking place more on 2G, which is a positive sign, as it builds a stronger platform for 3G and 4G services. Operators are investing on expanding and optimising the capacity of their existing networks to cope with increased demand of data and bandwidth.

How have technologies like 3G and 4G impacted business opportunities for CommScope in India?

3G and 4G technologies offer immense opportunities for CommScope as these services provide a platform for consumers to experience various high speed data services. Mobile operators aim to optimise their network infrastructure and ensure smooth deployments of these next-generation technologies.

We have experienced immediate growth in our business after the launch of 3G services as well as increased demand for in-building solutions. Also, with 4G-based networks expected to be rolled out shortly, we can expect greater adoption of Heterogeneous Network (HetNet), as it would enable operators to provide a seamless 4G experience. HetNet includes two interlinking layers designed to provide coverage and capacity.

 

DoT likely to ask EGoM to seek TRAI’s views for auctioning CDMA spectrum

DoT likely to ask EGoM to seek TRAI's vi...

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is considering asking the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) to request the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for its views on auctioning CDMA spectrum, say news reports.

The EGoM is likely to meet next week. On December 7, 2012, DoT had asked the EGoM for its decision pertaining to the action of spectrum in the 800 MHz band. However, the EGoM had deferred the matter.

Currently, DoT is looking at two possible scenarios for auctioning spectrum in the 800 MHz band. The first scenario includes EGoM approaching TRAI for its recommendations on the matter and the second option is to hold the auction after spectrum in the 1800 MHz and 900 MHz bands have been sold.

The government did not receive any bids for CDMA spectrum in the recently concluded 2G auction. CDMA operators did not participate in the auction, on grounds that the reserve price of the spectrum was too high. The government had priced CDMA spectrum 1.3 times higher than GSM spectrum in the 1800 MHz band.

In February, 2012, the Supreme Court had cancelled the licences of various operators, including the CDMA licences of Sistema Shyam Teleservices Limited in 21 telecom circles and Tata Teleservices Limited in three circles. It was mandatory for these companies to bag spectrum in the auction to continue operations in circles where their licences will be valid only until January 18, 2013.

DoT likely to ask EGoM to seek TRAI’s views for auctioning CDMA spectrum

DoT likely to ask EGoM to seek TRAI's vi...

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is considering asking the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) to request the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for its views on auctioning CDMA spectrum, say news reports.

The EGoM is likely to meet next week. On December 7, 2012, DoT had asked the EGoM for its decision pertaining to the action of spectrum in the 800 MHz band. However, the EGoM had deferred the matter.

Currently, DoT is looking at two possible scenarios for auctioning spectrum in the 800 MHz band. The first scenario includes EGoM approaching TRAI for its recommendations on the matter and the second option is to hold the auction after spectrum in the 1800 MHz and 900 MHz bands have been sold.

The government did not receive any bids for CDMA spectrum in the recently concluded 2G auction. CDMA operators did not participate in the auction, on grounds that the reserve price of the spectrum was too high. The government had priced CDMA spectrum 1.3 times higher than GSM spectrum in the 1800 MHz band.

In February, 2012, the Supreme Court had cancelled the licences of various operators, including the CDMA licences of Sistema Shyam Teleservices Limited in 21 telecom circles and Tata Teleservices Limited in three circles. It was mandatory for these companies to bag spectrum in the auction to continue operations in circles where their licences will be valid only until January 18, 2013.

Operators to provide real-time interception facilities for BlackBerry devices

Operators to provide real-time intercept...

Indian telecom operators will be providing real time interception facilities for BlackBerry devices, say news reports.

Research In Motion (RIM) has more than one million Indian customers. Since services such as the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) facility and the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) email platform could not be intercepted, Indian security agencies had raised concerns regarding national security.

However, complying with the directives issued by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), RIM has provided an interception solution for these services, which, however, does not extend to the Blackberry Enterprise Server.

Earlier, DoT had set December 31, 2012 as the last date for RIM to provide an interception solution for its services. DoT had asked RIM to furnish details related to resolution and web-browsing by BlackBerry users, in consultation with operators and vendors. Subsequently, RIM placed a server in Mumbai to enable interception of its services.

Vodafone and Tata Communication were among the first operators to comply with DoTs directive, followed by Bharti Airtel.