Moving Ahead with Times

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

The annual communications

event CommsIndia got of to a quiet start on 9 December 1998 in New Delhi. Minister of

state for communications, Kabindra Purkayastha, was the chief guest for the event. It was

an exhibition-cum-conference show, like the shows earlier.



The CommsIndia'98 conferences got underway

on 8 December, with the inaugural session on "Level playing Field" moderated by

NS Ramachandran, member, TRAI. Clearly, the message coming out of the discussion was that

there has to be a tripartite association among the government, regulator, and the

operators for chalking out the policies for level playing field.

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Telecom funding has been a major issue for

the private telecom operators. And has been a much-sought after topic for discussion. This

session, chaired by Dr Mahesh Uppal, consultant, evoked good debate. It focused on the

risk involved in telecom funding, While Ashish Jain of Price Waterhouse drew attention to

factors that affect the interests of the financiers, Pranav Raoch, senior manager, Hughes

Network Ltd laid emphasis on administrative and legal procedures in arranging finances

which act as a serious bottleneck. YL Aggarwal, executive director, Himachal Futuristic

Communications Ltd noted that every body—DoT, entrepreneurs, and foreign

partners—failed on their parts to understand the real-time situation. While telecom

became a cash cow for DoT, the associated government departments too behaved in a similar

way thus hampering the establishment of private networks in the country. He emphasized the

issue is very complex today but there is a ray of hope that things will change soon.

The ISP policy was announced in November

and was fresh in the minds of people at the show. And there was a lot of excitement on the

Internet session. Amitabh Kumar, acting CMD, VSNL, stressed on the need for providing

access bandwidth to ISPs and easy availability of Internet to the end customer. However,

the speakers significantly failed to focus on issues like lack of resources and setting up

of gateway, which are of prime concern for the private ISPs.

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The exhibitor list was a conglomeration of

several first timers and old-timers, Indian and offshore companies, showcasing their

products and technologies. The ones who were very pleased with the show have been the

first timers. They felt that the show was very useful as they were able to display their

products to potential users. Those participating for the first time in CommsIndia were

Huawei Technologies Ltd, Tirumala Seven Hills, and US-based Zetron, and Flag Telecom,

among others. Another important development has been the presence of almost all the global

GMPCS service providers. Iridium, Globalstar, ICO and Ellipso, along with Thuraya, the

regional GMPCS player, were all present. Though this time Satphone, a regional GMPCS

service provider, was not around. Amazingly, none of the VSAT, cellular, and paging

companies, who used to be present in large numbers in the earlier years, were around this


Huawei Technologies was one of the biggest

exhibitors this time in terms of floor space. The company showcased advance communication

products based on SDH, WILL, GSM, and optical access network technologies. In the WILL

segment, it displayed ETS 450 based on FDMA standard and ETS 1900 based on TDMA standard.

Ericsson displayed a complete range of

products for potential ISPs. Tigris, a remote access concentrator, has the capability to

provide high density, capacity, and performance dial-in access for ISP and Home Internet

Solution. One can convert an ISDN line, which can be simultaneously used for Internet and

voice through a network terminal were the key products on its shelf.


Convergence was the main theme for

Tektronix and it displayed OTDR, M2T codec, MPEG test systems, picture quality analyzer,

protocol analyzer, SDH/PDH tester, and digital phosphor oscilloscopes. Fastech Telecom had

displayed handheld PDH testing called SunSet PDH and Telepro RC88, a PC-based compact

analyzer for testing and switching protocols like ISDN, BRI, GSM, and CDMA.

Andrew Corp. displayed the whole range of

products like cellular base station antennas for GSM/PCN applications, KPR GridPak antenna

for microwave and rural telephony applications, Heliax foam and air die-electric coaxial

cable, connectors, and accessories. Qualcomm had displayed for the first time in India

"Q phone", a CDMA portable phone, which works with IS-95 CDMA technology. The Q

phone is a palm-sized phone and has an in-built alpha numeric pager.

Ericsson Hewlett-Packard

Telecommunications (EHPT), a telecom software company, showcased an interconnect entry

package for Windows NT, a subsidiary of its well-known interconnect billing product, EHPT

SETTLER, while Dialogic, the CTI leader, was promoting the concept of enhanced services

for telecom operators on open platforms.


The emphasis of France Telecom was on

Internet and E-commerce. On display was Web Call Centre that helps companies in their

commercial transactions. Viaccess encoded systems with control access to numerous

broadcasting services such as digital TV, interactive programs, Internet, cable channels,

and video or audio programs.

In the age of convergence, Tellabs

displayed Cablespan system, an ideal vehicle for the integrated delivery of interactive

voice, data, video, and information services.

The best thing about CommsIndia '98 was

making free calls anywhere in the world with the use of Iridium phones. The voice quality

was average and one had to adjust to the echo effect of the satellite to make the

conversation meaningful.


One could also send messages on the

Iridium pager, which was displayed. It involved a time delay of three-five seconds.

Another interesting thing on display was a

small device called Love Jupiter, which is very popular in Japan and South-East Asian

countries. Coming in pairs, one for the male and the other for the female, the radio

frequency device gets activated when anybody is carrying the device in the vicinity of 50

metres. The electronic friendship device has six dating activities, auto searching mode

function, and special sound effects.

With an increase in the number of

exhibitions and the focus narrowing from telecom to Internet and convergence in these

exhibitions, CommsIndia '98 was good. In terms of the number of quality exhibitors and in

terms of the crowd visiting the pavilion area. Although the response was good it is

difficult to say how many of these responses would transform into business.
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