UTStarcom Rahul Pandey says stress in telecom sector has affected payment cycle

Payment cycle is affected; capital investments have been very slow this year: Rahul Pandey, UTStarcom

UTStarcom, since 1991, has had the reputation of offering the most innovative, reliable and cost-effective communication products and solutions to its global customers. The company has presently committed extensive investment in R&D to optimize solutions for the complex requirements of 5G networks, cloud-based services, and video streaming applications.

At the recently concluded Indian Mobile Congress 2019, UTStarcom showcased its product portfolio for 5G based on Next Generation Technologies comprising Slicing Based Transport Solution, 5G Indoor Coverage Solution, and solutions for end to end network synchronization. The exhibit also included solutions for mobile backhaul, metro aggregation, broadband access, Network Core, Smart Cities and much more.

UTStarcom's Rahul Pandey says payment cycle affected due to financial stress

Voice&Data interacted with Rahul Pandey, Managing Director, UTStarcom India, to understand how UTStarcom is rightly positioned with its advanced and cost-effective products in India’s telecom sector. The discussion also unravels UTStarcom’s view on the struggles the telecom sector is currently facing and how that struggle has several ripple effects.

Voice&Data: How has networking technologies evolved over the last decade and how has UTStarcom grown to offer products and services along with the evolution?

Rahul Pandey: Networking technologies have drastically evolved in the last decade. From fixed to wireless, from access to the metro core – UTStarcom delivers a fusion of cutting-edge technologies, highest reliability and innovative network management leveraging Software Defined Network (SDN) concept to build future-proof networks with optimized TCO.

Wireless technologies really became ubiquitous in recent years driven by the tremendous popularity of smart mobile devices and related bandwidth-hungry services. Wi-Fi and 4G networks are widely deployed and available in many places in India and around the globe, and now the emerging 5G mobile technology comes with promises of a significant increase in performance, with support of many new use cases and with potential to reshape entire industries and societies.

UTStarcom addresses the needs of the market in multiple aspects: offering efficient carrier-grade wireless solutions and providing advanced transport network infrastructure for wireless networks.

The emerging 5G mobile technology comes with promises of a significant increase in performance, with support of many new use cases and with potential to reshape entire industries and societies.

Wireless networks generate a lot of traffic that needs to be transported between base stations and the network core and support a variety of use cases and applications that set complex requirements to transport networks. Taking 5G as an example, it brings new and often challenging requirements related to transport network flexibility and service agility, very high bandwidth, huge network capacity, and scalability, network slicing, extra low latency, highly accurate time synchronization, significantly improved cost efficiency, and many others.

UTStarcom addresses these challenges with our cutting-edge packet optical networking solutions based on the latest developments including Flex Ethernet (FlexE) lightweight TDM Ethernet transport, Segment Routing tunneling technology, and highly accurate time synchronization over packet implementation, all tightly integrated with Software Defined Networking (SDN) platform. All these advanced technologies are integrated as the UTStarcom’s SkyFlux next-generation communications platform designed for performance, flexibility, and efficiency.

Combining benefits of the advanced solution architecture with the global network view and flexible SW nature of SDN-based control, the SkyFlux platform enables network and service transformation through network programmability, automation, and centralized intelligence, significantly simplifying operation and reducing overall network complexity. We believe that the platform provides a perfect solution for 4G/5G mobile network transport that can meet all their complex requirements.

Optimizing technologies require from telecom infrastructure significantly larger network capacity and reconfiguration of network architectures.

Voice&Data: What changes do you envisage with the advent of new-age technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, IoT, etc.?

Rahul Pandey: The technology industry is being influenced by several emerging trends, including IoT, AI, robotics, and 5G mobile data. These technologies not only enable new product and service offerings and enhance user experience but will likely transform different industry sectors and societies. Optimizing these technologies requires from telecom infrastructure significantly larger network capacity and reconfiguration of network architectures and technologies to enable intelligence, agility, scalability, performance, and efficiency.

To help organizations address these challenges through the power of technology, UTStarcom offers its latest solutions based on cutting-edge technologies including SDN, Segment Routing (SRv6), Clustered Distributed Timing over packet and others. Our other disruptive product portfolio includes next-generation SRv6-based routing platforms – SkyFlux UAR400 and UAR500; 5G-ready timing solution SkyRing XGM30; SDN platform SOO Station; intelligent customer edge VBG-M7105 and smart commercial refrigerator GoBox.

With hype connectivity in its core, 5G technologies will revolutionize the entire digital experience and open new doors for the socio-economic progress of over 100 crore Indians.

Voice&Data: Is 5G poised to change the data experience? How long would it take for the technology to come to India?

Rahul Pandey: 5G networking is all set to provide extensive advantages and new growth avenues for a very wide range of new services and product innovations. It not only brings a massive speed increase (up to gigabits) but also offers far more possibilities than any previous wireless network. 5G has immense potential to transform data experience and enable connectivity beyond imagination. With hype connectivity in its core, 5G technologies will revolutionize the entire digital experience and open new doors for the socio-economic progress of over 100 crore Indians.

As the telecom industry prepares for the commercial rollout of 5G technology, network operators utilize the most efficient technologies and deployment models for their transport network infrastructures in order to meet important 5G network requirements. With coming of 5G and growing demand for IoT, M2M, Smart Cities, Cloud-based services and Data Center Interconnect, as well as in view of encouraging plans related to development of fiber and wireless infrastructure in our key international markets, we see a lot of opportunities for us in which we can apply our knowledge and spirit of innovation for the benefit of the industry, supporting smooth roll-outs of 5G and fast adoption of other new applications.

While the country is gearing up for the rollout, we need to give some time to the country’s existing telecom infrastructure to get equipped for a state of the art 5G revolution.

The current telecom sector stress has led to a slowdown in capital investments by companies which has choked payments and resulted in a longer payment cycle.

Voice&Data: The telecom industry is going through a very bleak period, what do you think will help the industry to revive?

Rahul Pandey: Operators are going through tough times. The release of long-pending payments of infrastructure providers and encouraging more investments can help in reviving the health of the telecom sector in India. Timely roll out of 5G can also support the industry in scaling up.

India contributes as much as 50% of our worldwide business. The current telecom sector stress has led to a slowdown in capital investments by companies which has choked payments and resulted in a longer payment cycle. In the last three years, the business was good in India, but this year, it has been slow due to the stress on the telecom operators. Payments are stuck. The lead time is very high. Investments have been put on hold, because of which capital investment is very slow. We hope the situation will improve as soon as possible and payments will start coming.

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.

Voice&Data: What are your plans to entrench your leadership positioning as the preferred partner in the sub-continent?

Rahul Pandey: As one of the leading global telecom infrastructure provider UTStarcom provides next-generation broadband telecommunication solutions to 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.

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. We are consistently working on disruptive products and solutions to largely address the needs of the India market. Furthermore, in order to meet the price requirements of the market, we embrace the ‘Make in India’ campaign and work with local manufacturing companies to produce our equipment in India.

We are committed to investing in R&D to develop new products, enabling network operators to meet the challenges of growing network traffic generated by new technology trends such as the internet of things and 5G mobile data. We are especially excited about the 5G opportunity, as network operators around the globe begin this massive rollout, which will require wholesale upgrades of network architectures.

With coming of 5G and growing demand for IoT, M2M, Smart Cities, Cloud-based services and Data Center Interconnect, as well as in view of encouraging plans related to development of fiber and wireless infrastructure in our key international markets, we see a lot of opportunities for us in which we can apply our knowledge and spirit of innovation for the benefit of the industry, supporting smooth roll-outs of 5G and fast adoption of other new applications. At the same time, we are interested in exploring and continuing our investments into the development of solutions for emerging market segments including IoT, smart retail, and intelligent network edge.

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