QoS: Powering Software

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

A the competition

increases from countries such as Ireland, Russia, and China, it is very

essential that the major software houses in India have high-quality telecom



Are the current infrastructure facilities good enough?

What are the distinct telecommunication needs of the software exporters? Which

are the areas of services where telecom service providers must improve to enable

their customers in the software/technology sector take on their global


To find out the answers to these, VOICE&DATA

conducted its Top View discussion on the subject–Networking India’s Software

Powerhouses. The discussion he ld in Bangalore had on its panel, KS Srinivasan,

GM, Central Bangalore Telecom District, BSNL;

head (networks), Tata Teleservices; Vasappa Mahesh, joint

director, STPI; Dr Utpal Chattopadhyay, GM (software operations),

Motorola India; Rajgopal Nayar, GM, (technical network services), IBM

Global; G Dhananjayan, (chief of sales and marketing), Bharti Telenet; Ramannkutty

V-P and chief of business (Karnataka), Reliance Infocomm; AN Rao, CIO,

Digital Global Soft, Ibrahim Ahmad, executive editor, VOICE&DATA, and

Sean Dexter, CEO, Spice Telecom. Excerpts:

Rajgopal Nayar

GM, (technical network services), IBM Global

“When people try to contract project out here, their biggest concern is the need for a reliable infrastructure”


Ibrahim Ahmad, moderator: One

is looking at India being able to do software business worth 50 billion dollars

in the next 5 to 7 years. That is the big target and obviously the quality of

communication infrastructure and the quality of services that are offered is

going to play a very big role in this entire plan that we have.

Rajgopal Nayar, IBM: I

would say the first concern normally which people have when they try to contract

project out here is: Is the infrastructure good enough? Do you have very

resilient infrastructure, do you have back-to-back SLAs with the infrastructure

providers so that we are comfortable with giving this task to you?

Dr Utpal Chattopadhyay, Motorola: Naturally,

over the last 10 years the telecom infrastructure in the country, the services

being offered have gone up several notches but the fact is the demand of the

world keeps increasing also. It is only about 2-3 years now that we are actually

developing major piece of handset software in India here in Bangalore. Even a

network jitter that lasts several minutes will destroy the entire synergy that

is being done across the world and will push back our delivery by several days.

No corporation can tolerate having the product delivery dates being shifted by

2-3 weeks.


AN Rao, Digital Global Soft: Of

the six out of nine situations that we are talking about, I don’t think there

are issues on connectivity. Connectivity is not one of the top three parameters,

but the remaining areas continue to be big parameters.

Dr Utpal Chattopadhyay

GM (software operations), Motorola India

“The level of services

being offered has gone up by several notches but then the demand keeps increasing too”

Vasappa Mahesh, STPI: When

we see that industry meets the target of $50 billion or 80 billion that we talk

about by 2008. When we compete with other countries like China or Indonesia,

Malaysia. They don’t talk anything about downtime and all those things. That

is where we need to pay attention to and see that we meet the expectation of the

customers who is sitting on the other side which will help Indian industry to

meet the requirements of their customers.


KS Srinivasan, BSNL: The

availability, the provisioning of network is also one of the issues. As a

service provider from the BSNL, it has been our experience that the last mile

has been the most problematic. As far as the transmission links are concerned,

we may be able to provide a high degree of stability by bringing in SDH rings

within the city, within the state and between the different states.

G Dhananjayan, Bharti Touchtel: I

would say that everyone is going through the learning curve. You start with a

set of learning curve; you grow up in learning the service. Today when we go and

talk to corporate accounts the discussion is not less than 99.999. So the

expectations have gone up because internationally the demands are like this. I

am sure once the learning curve improves among all companies we will able to

give much better service to the corporate.

S Srinivas, Tata Teleservices: The

only activity which needs to be looked is the coordination amongst our own

service providers to ensure that we do not damage each others’ assets. Once

that is achieved the last mile problem will be totally solved. It will be

possible to provide the kind of services which are available in other developed

countries. Other than that, technologically, product-wise, equipment-wise we are

providing the same kind of services which are available everywhere else. So it

is only little bit of coordination and living with each other which are required

to ensure that the customers are kept happy.






CIO, Digital Global


joint director, STPI


is not

one of the top three

parameters today,

there are other more

important areas”


order to meet the

expectations of the global customers, we need to ensure that
downtime and other such things become non-issues”

Sean Dexter, Spice Telecom: As

a user of bandwidth, it is extremely important that pricing does come down. The

software houses have talked about international business and yet really as I see

it within India there is huge potential for national business and one of the

reason why that national business is not there today is because of pricing,

availability, and unwillingness of corporates to invest.

Ibrahim Ahmad: IT-enabled

services, for example, is seen as a big growth area, and the key issue here more

than any other sector will be quality of telecom infrastructure. If that gap is

not filled up very fast then there is always the chance that we may lose out.

Especially when the competition is coming up from other countries.


Rajankutty Nair, Reliance Infocomm: India

has got 2,000 Mbps of international bandwidth while China has 500,000. So there

is a big gap. I am talking about past six months’ figure. China’s figure

would have gone far ahead of that. China is slowly becoming a competitor of

India in terms of software. So it is very important that we should cover this


Whether the services will be available on demand.

Whether it is 99.99 percent reliable. Unless the infrastructure is properly

placed it would not be possible to achieve this. I think all these concerns are

being addressed. Within a few months, you will see a sea change in telecom


KS Srinivasan

G Dhananjayan

GM, Central Bangalore Telecom District, BSNL

(chief of sales and marketing), Bharti Telenet

“It’s our experience that the last mile has been the most problematic. SDH rings can bring in high degree of stability”

“Expectations are high because of the demands internationally. Everybody is going through the learning curve”


AN Rao: Please try

and understand our business needs per se. I have been saying this to systems

provider as well as service providers. Don’t come to tell what you have, ask

us what we need. Come to me with solutions. That is the expectation I have. Mere

infrastructure does not resolve my problems. Fiber is not connectivity. That is

not what we are talking about. We are looking at setting up a customized

umbilical between us and customers oversee to deliver.

Dr Utpal Chattopadhyay: If

you talk about software industry going to be $50 billion, it is no longer an

issue of availability of pipes or cutting down prices. Cutting down prices does

not help us at all. I would request service providers to benchmark against our

competitors. We are losing business; we are going to lose business to Russia

soon. What kind of infrastructure they have, what are their jitter

characteristics. So rather than saying that we are working on it we need to

understand what is the gap. In an international setting what is the gap between

us and China, and our nearest competitors and how can we make sure that we

reduce the gap rather than having a vague sense that we are doing better than

before. That is very important.

Vasappa Mahesh: We

heard that a lot of service providers are interconnected to many cities but

looking at the ground level they reach the cities but they don’t get

distributed in the cities. All the operators reach the central stations, but how

do they distribute from there? They don’t have an answer. It should be looked

at seriously.

Ibrahim Ahmad




V-P and chief of

business (Karnataka), Reliance Infocomm

“IT-enabled services

is a big growth area, and the key issue here is going to be the

quality of telecom



has 2,000 Mbps of international bandwidth while China has 500,000.

The gap has to go”

KS Srinivasan: As

regards SLAs, they are shortly likely to be provided by us. We (BSNL) have

already tried to have a practical model which is realistic and within our

capabilities and to that extent services are bound to improve. As regards

connectivity beyond the hub, connectivity is there right up to the remotest

corner in the state and I am sure the situation is exactly the same in other

states as well.

Rajankutty Nair: SLA

was never used as a terminology in India for the international network, the

bandwidth, and that will come and the customer is going to be the king and they

are going to dictate the terms especially with respect to SLAs and it is going

to happen very shortly. Second is the issue with respect to coordination between

systems integrators and service providers. It is a very serious issue. We will

soon get it resolved. That will be a thing of the past.

G Dhananjayan: Over

the period of two to three months probably all the monopolistic or restrictive

trade practices will go away. Integration of systems providers and service

providers have to take place. And that can happen only when there is no

restriction in regulation, and absolutely no regulatory confusion.

S Srinivas: You

have to sit with the customers, understand their requirements, what sort of

solutions they want. At Tatas, we believe that we don’t sell readymade

garments; we tailor it for individual corporate customers.

S Srinivas

Sean Dexter

head (networks)

Tata Teleservices

CEO, Spice Telecom

“One has to understand the customers’ needs. Selling readymade stuff won’t do; solutions must be tailored for them”

“I think all concerns are being addressed. Within a few months, you will see a sea change in the telecom scenario”

AN Rao: The

questions we are asking service providers here are no different from the

questions we face internally. If you really see the balance score card today we

are measured on improvement of customer satisfaction. An enterprise may have

couple of hundred projects, there is interaction of customers, we deal with

individual customized SLAs with projects.

Dr Utpal Chattopadhyay: Somebody

mentioned about eight locations in Bangalore. It has become a menace. We have

one location in Hyderabad, another in Bangalore, the ISDN link between Bangalore

and Hyderabad is very temperamental. You cannot imagine the anguish we have if

we have a major customer visiting one center and he wants to talk to the other

center. Somebody spoke about 99.8 or 96.8. The world is moving to five 9s, which

means two hours downtime a year. We cannot be a $50 billion industry unless

these things are solved in toto. Our major task is not to figure out whether the

network is running or not. Our major task is to know how to increase


AN Rao: If our

customers require ten times the bandwidth what they need or what we are using

currently, if that is the requirement, we have to be with them and service

providers have to be with us. The current technology allows us to do that. Those

are the things which will help us to cater to business on demand. We have to

address customers’ requirements and demand fluctuates a lot.

Dr Utpal Chattopadhyay: I

would want service providers to knock at our doors periodically every quarter,

asking what needs we have.

Nareshchandra Laishram