Saankhya Labs is India’s first fabless semiconductor company for the wireless communication industry. Saankhya developed the world’s first Software-defined Radio (SDR) chipset that can be used for broadcast, wireless broadband, and satellite communication applications.
Since the last interaction with Parag Naik, co-Founder and CEO of Saankhya Labs, a lot has happened at the company. In a short interaction with Voice&Data, Naik shares details of the company’s latest developments.
Voice&Data: In the last year how has Saankhya grown in terms of product deployment, technology development, R&D, rural internet and other activities?
Parag Naik: 2019 has been a very important year for us. A lot of our past R&D has been commercialized. Notable are our sat-com products that are deployed on Indian Railways. We also got our Software-defined Radio (SDR) chipset for Defense to field trials. Our rural broadband product has got an FCC certification and is in the process to get a Korean regulatory certification. We have the products in trials in Africa, the US, and Korea. Saankhya has also started to complete the 5G broadcast product and will soon get into pilot trials later this year. On the tech side, we have filed more than 5 patents and are working on interesting future products.
Voice&Data: Rural internet is India’s necessary digital tool. What is Saankhya’s status in enabling rural internet?
Parag Naik: Our rural broadband products are being trialed outside the country. Hopefully, bureaucracy willing, we should get into big trials in India this year. There is many a slip between the deployment lip and the bureaucratic cup in India.
Voice&Data: How has Saankhya aligned its strategies for the tech trends that are predicted for this decade?
Parag Naik: We are actually now part of the mainstream telecom ecosystem. We are driving some of the key tech trends like broadcast-broadband convergence and AI-based Radio Access Networks.
Voice&Data: India awaits 5G spectrum auction. What is your opinion on the spectrum auction and how should India do right to ensure 5G launch/test?
Parag Naik: Given the financial state of the telecom industry, we should look at alternative models for spectrum access. Unlicensed and shared mechanisms like Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) in the USA can be explored for the future. India needs ubiquitous connectivity and not just fatter pipes. Also given that video is a big driver for most of the traffic, it is essential to consider alternative, cost-effective and indigenous technologies like the broadband broadcast convergence, which must be regulated and deployed.