5G Will Play a Huge Role in Providing a New Dimension to Digital India, Smart Cities & Smart Village Missions: Sasken

In conversation with Voice&Data, Hari Haran, President – Global Sales, Marketing, and Business Lines,  Sasken Technologies, talks about the role of 5G  in the country, expected trends in the market, and how does the company plans to grow presence in India. Excerpts:

Voice&Data: According to you, what role will 5G play in the country’s digital transformation? And, what would be the major challenges?

Hari Haran: India can become a leader in 5G. The government is working towards creating INR 500-crore fund for the development of this technology and it has also created a high-level committee to work on a roadmap for the roll-out of 5G by 2020.

India is looking at 5G technology as a major opportunity in terms of offering services tailored for rural India like tele-health, tele-education, and bandwidth-heavy applications that can drive development in these regions. 5G will play a huge role in providing a new dimension to Digital India, Smart Cities & Smart Village missions. 5G will potentially have large contributions to Make in India and Startup India missions and position India as a globally synchronized participant in the Design, Development and Manufacturing of 5G-based technology, products, and applications.

Firstly, India must move from 3G to 4G and we are beginning to see some traction in that space with some major telecom operators already focusing on upgrading their networks and telecom infrastructure to 4G.

Voice&Data: Can you tell us about the recent research Sasken is doing in India around 5G?

Hari Haran: Sasken started focusing on 5G about two years ago, mainly in the area of Wireless Channel Manager Solution (MIMO Management System) to achieve better data rates under harsh channel conditions for 4G/5G transmission systems and Adaptive Beam Forming. As a part of the MIMO Management System (MMS), we have developed link level simulation to simulate the harsh channel characteristics. Our solution chooses different Transmission Modes (TM) and Adaptive Modulation & Coding schemes. The simulation results show an extremely good average throughput irrespective of any channel conditions.

In addition to the above, Sasken has built C-V2X link level test bed by re-using the link level designed and developed for the MMS. Currently, we are working on the 5G NR (protocol stack) design/implementations.

Voice&Data: What are the expected trends in market such as semi-conductor, telecom, automation, consumer electronics and industrial automation?

Hari Haran: Some of the trends that we are looking at currently across the industries mentioned above are increasing automation in different industries, growth in connected device users, rapid introduction of Internet of Things (IoT) in various walks of our lives, high growth rate of connected/autonomous cars, increase in cellular M2M connections, need for more on-demand content, and growing trends of smart cities. Some of the technologies that we are going to see are 5G, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, V2X (vehicle to infrastructure), Blockchain, and of course, IoT.

Voice&Data: Sasken’s consistent performance as a leader in semi-conductor and telecommunication categories as per latest Zinnov Rankings. Can you please throw some light on the same?

Hari Haran: This is the third time in a row Zinnov has ranked Sasken in the Leadership Zone for the Semiconductor and Telecommunications categories. I believe, this ranking serves as a testimony to Sasken’s silicon DNA honed over more than two decades which has helped both silicon vendors and product companies accelerate time-to-market and optimally manage product lifecycles. For over two decades, Sasken has been making significant contributions in the communication space with expertise ranging from ADSL technologies to the latest LTE technologies.

Today, Sasken is serving over 100 customers to build their flagship products that include LTE-based satellite terminals and solutions for the Connected and Autonomous car (V2X, ADAS and infotainment). Sasken is enabling its industrial customers to develop next-gen products for their smart factories. Sasken is also investing in accelerating 5G deployment that will make V2X connectivity, digitizing factory floor, and automated driving possible.

Voice&Data: How do you plan to have greater market penetration in India? What will be your business strategy to strengthen Sasken’s presence in India?

Hari Haran: Today, most of the global customers expect their India centers to be innovation hubs. At Sasken, we will continue to leverage our Product Engineering and Digital Transformation capabilities to work closely across the verticals that we serve, with local innovation centers of our global clients in India. Our customers acknowledge the deep expertise that Sasken brings to the table and are working with us in Product Engineering and Digital Transformation solutions from India. We are also developing India-specific variants of some of the products for the global portfolio of our customers.

In addition to working with global clients, we also see significant opportunities with several mature e-commerce start-ups in India. They are keen to leverage Sasken’s extensive experience in building solutions, accelerators, and platforms to augment their Digital portfolios.

Voice&Data: How are the key drivers like silicon, embedded systems, cloud computing, and cognitive technologies helping define the world of tomorrow?

Hari Haran: The World Economic Forum has identified five disruptive forces that will shake and change the global economy. Foremost of this is the fact that emerging markets will significantly drive the global economy and emerge as the hotbeds for innovation. Development in machine learning, artificial intelligence and cognitive sciences are beginning to replace human workers in knowledge, service, and industrial areas. Commerce is rapidly shifting from traditional trade routes to the digital highways. The exponential growth in data traffic is evident for this shift in commerce. The focus on emerging markets and the challenge of optimally using resources has led to focus on marshaling resource consumption.

At the core of these vectors of change, is technology, for which evolution, will continue to exert the most significant influence on the global economy.

Voice&Data: Who all are your customers?

Hari Haran: Sasken works with some of the world leaders in various industries. We work with silicon manufacturers in the semiconductor space and tier-1s/OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) in the automotive space. For the past two decades, Sasken has been working with rugged device manufacturers and satellite service providers in building world-class products such as handheld satellite terminals and public safety devices.

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