Transmission: Sliding Down

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

The Indian transmission industry has shown negative growth, thanks to 2G license cancellation coupled with political uncertainties. Slow adoption of 3G along with moderate growth in 2G has also led to this decline which has resulted in large operators holding back on their planned capex investments. The sector also did not see any large scale public sector tender.

The Supreme Court judgment on cancellation of 122 licenses had an adverse impact on the capex as lot of bandwidth was freed up with the shutting of shops and lot of uncertainty in the market. So, operators were more cautious when it comes to fresh capital outlays for transmission deals-be it network upgrades or for new rollouts and were deferring their decision for purchase of equipment.

Initially, operators did not spend anything on core network for 3G rollout but having burnt their fingers, operators are looking at new technologies like Carrier Ethernet, GPON, and 40G/100G network. All these would be required for 3G rollout, making 4G ready network, and capacity expansion in national long distance network.

The Players

Alcatel-Lucent has done well to help operators transform their networks to next-generation optics. The company has supplied transmission equipment for major 3G operators who are ensuring adequate data carrying capacities in their networks. The company has supplied a top Indian service provider with backbone expansions and new network/links including ASON expansions.

One of the top 4 Indian service providers has opted for network expansion and new network/links including ASON expansions. Another operator has deployed PTN network. The company has deployed DWDM network in France for a top Indian service provider for international gateway connectivity. The company has completed the first single carrier 100G DWDM trial in the country jointly with a leading telecom operator.

The IP win with airtel will help in creating access network based on Carrier Ethernet technology (CEN) enabling the operator to deliver faster mobile broadband speeds to its customers. Alcatel-Lucent has also bagged an IP core contract with a major PSU, carrier ethernet contract for a top Indian service provider, and bagged 3 out of 4 GPON deals in the country.

The company has deployed 40G technology in the Indian market and is in advance discussion with couple of operators. The company has bagged major share in the GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) market by supplying solutions to players like Velocis, Sterlite, and others. For example, Sterlite's FiON a (fiber optic access network) powered by Alcatel is a fiber-to-the-home/premises (FTTx) technologies which carries high-speed connectivity right into the premises.

Huawei has bagged deals from Vodafone and Bharti airtel. The company also has a strong transmission footprint in Tata, Uninor, Aircel, and Idea. The company has bagged high-capacity DWDM deals in the fiscal. ZTE has bagged a contract from Power Grid Corporation of India to provide fixed-network transmission services across the country. As part of the agreement, ZTE will deploy more than 385 DWDMs, 1,025 SDHs, and several PTN devices to enhance PGCIL's network coverage and service quality.

In spite of a difficult environment, Tejas did well in wireless backhaul solutions and ethernet business service delivery platforms. In FY11, Tejas XTN family of packet optical transport products were selected by 4 tier-1 Indian operators for their 3G and WiMax wireless network builds across the country and they continued to procure additional systems from Tejas for their network expansion in respective circles even for FY12. In addition, Tejas was selected by a large CDMA operator for their data expansion project for EVDO-Rev B upgrade. Till date, Tejas has shipped several thousand XTN systems both in India as well as abroad.

ECI continued with their business with all their existing customers who are leading private telcos. Major orders bagged were 3G expansion as well as one network for 4G backhaul. Even Ciena bagged few deals from large operators in the country. ADVA bagged orders from definitive existing customers as there were no new wins in India. The company had repeat business from long-haul operators.

In FY12, C-DOT has designed and developed GPON technology which offers speed up to 1 Gbps and is ideal for rural and urban areas. The technology is meant for fiber expansion in the country to meet the requirements of major national programs such as NOFN (National Optical Fiber Network), SWAN (State Wide Area Network), broadband connectivity in rural, north-east and tribal areas, as well as expansion of networks of defense, railways networks, and many other strategic networks.

In this direction, C-DOT has transferred Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology to 7 public and private manufacturers-ITI; Bharat Electronics (BEL); Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL); VMC, Hyderabad; Sai Information Systems, Ahmedabad; SM Creative, Gurgaon; and Tejas Networks, Bengaluru.

Future Play

With 3G deployed in top 350 cities in India, the demand for data is picking up due to increased usage of smartphones, tablets, and computers. Even BYOD concept is catching up among all industry verticals. To provide better user-experience to consumers and enterprise, operators need to deploy high capacity access and backhaul networks, both of which requires large investment in high-speed and scalable transmission solutions.