2021 Commercial 5G pilots in India; Cisco #1 in India Network Equipment

Commercial 5G pilot networks in India are expected by 2021.  Upstart wireless network operator Reliance Jio has the advantage to transform its telecom network to offer newer technology, said a Cisco Systems top executive responsible for the APAC region.

“By 2021, India should finally see 5G commercial pilots,” Cisco Head of Asia Pacific & Japan – Service Provider Business Sanjay Kaul told ETT, adding that most of the country’s service providers were already on the journey towards 5G.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has already asked equipment vendors— Cisco, Samsung, Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia— to partner with India service providers Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to start 5G-based field trials as early as January 2019 and demonstrate India-specific use cases to smoothe commercial rollouts.

Cisco has enabled the Mumbai-based Reliance Jio to foray into the fourth generation (4G) technology-based voice over long-term evolution (VoLTE) services in September 2016, and the two companies are currently working together to develop content delivery through the cloud in a lower latency environment— a key 5G feature.

“Jio has an advantage with its greenfield network while others like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and even BSNL are transforming their network at a rapid pace,” Kaul said.

Earlier, billionaire Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Jio has said that it could launch 5G services within the few months after acquiring the required spectrum.   Kaul believes that Reliance Jio and other telco incumbents would launch 5G-based digital services as the India government makes spectrum available at a cost bearable to the industry.

Cisco said that in a 5G environment, telecom networks network would truly become a service platform, and digital services uniquely crafted for small-and-mid-sized companies and consumers would help telcos to monetise their investments in network transformation and data center architecture.

“5G technology and architecture will truly provide service provider another opportunity to evolve from being a communication service provider to a true digital value player,” the Cisco executive added.

Jio also feels that telecom service operators should innovate to become a digital player in a competitive landscape.

4G and 5G networks would co-exist, according to Kaul, who attributed 4G for mass adoption of data and social networks, and added that 5G technology, unlike 3G and 4G, has technical features like low latency and high density.

Kaul believes that 4G is progressing with full throttle, and in a year’s time, it would be closer to 90% penetration in the country.

The incumbents— Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are investing to make 4G networks widespread while the youngest telecom player Jio that has built next-generation all-IP data network, has already penetrated more than 90% of the country. The public-sector BSNL is yet to get 4G spectrum from the government to compete with rivals.

“We have covered 90% of the Indian population with 4G, and we’ll soon reach to 99% of the country,” Jio president Mathew Oommen said.

“4G is showing good results, and I think all operators are really going for country-wide coverage and are accelerating their efforts,” Kaul said, adding that the time for 5G has arrived in the country.

The department has said that it would be ready to hold mega airwaves sale including frequencies in the 3300-3600 Mhz range, used to offer high-speed 5G services, in the second half of 2019.

The Narendra Modi-led NDA government is banking on the newer technology with the telecom department setting up a high-level 5G Forum to oversee 5G roadmap and rollout of services in tandem with matured markets worldwide.

The company feels that the newer technology would be unique in terms of creating and enabling mission-critical applications in various vertical domains such as transport, healthcare, finance, and security.

https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/commercial-5g-pilots-in-2021-cisco/67254020
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Cisco Systems has emerged as a leader in India’s network equipment market with a clear lead over rivals such as Nokia and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) in the Ethernet, router and wireless local area network (WLAN) segments in the third quarter of 2018, according to an International Data Corporation (IDC) market research report.

“Cisco continues to dominate the Ethernet Switch market with a 65.7% share in Q3 2018, followed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Huawei,” IDC said, adding that Cisco accounted three-fourth of the router market in the same quarter.

With 65.7% market share, Cisco took a huge lead over Hewlett Packard Enterprise (6.7%), Huawei (3.3%) and Nokia (2.8%) in the Ethernet Switch market in the quarter.

According to IDC’s latest Asia/Pacific Quarterly Ethernet Switch Tracker, the Q3 2018 Ethernet Switch market in India stood at USD 160.3 million (by vendor revenue) with an excellent YoY growth of 34.4%.

ADC and Layer 3 categories predominantly drove the overall growth with high double-digit individual YoY rise, while Layer 2 also saw a YoY growth, though only marginal.  The India government’s push towards digitalization through upgrade of public infrastructure and multiple smart city initiatives; telecom infrastructure modernization drives and banking sector’s continual investment in network infrastructure to improve customer experience, is expected to drive growth in the coming quarters.  The router market in India reached $214.9 million with an exceptional year-on-year growth of 140.4%.

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The San Jose, CA based company also dominated the router segment with 75% share, while Nokia (11.2%), Huawei (7%) and Juniper (5.5%) trailed behind in Q3 2018.

Cisco has retained the top spot in the WLAN market with a 24.8% market share in Q3 2018, followed by TP-Link (17.3%) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (15.3%).

“The Ethernet switch, router, and WLAN market are expected to grow in single digits in terms of compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for 2017-2022,” IDC said in a statement.

“Software-defined networking solutions are expected to gain prominence as the enterprise infrastructure evolves from human-dependent systems to self-servicing, fully automated and seamlessly integrated systems,” Ranganath Sadasiva, Director— Enterprise at IDC India said.

The market research firm, however, believes that government and enterprise digitalization initiatives would be expected to drive growth across product categories.

“Mobile workforce, anytime anywhere access to enterprise networks, security across multiple channels and shift towards cloud-based application workload are key drivers for investment in network infrastructure,” Dileep Nadimpalli, Research Manager— Storage at IDC India said.

https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/cisco-tops-indias-networking-market-in-q3-2018-idc/67254322

https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prAP44587818

 

India to Develop Broadband Readiness Index of States

India’s government has revealed plans to introduce a broadband readiness index for the nation’s states as part of efforts to encourage an additional $100 billion investment in the telecoms sector.

India’s Telecom secretary Aruna Sundarajan told the Press Trust of India that the broadband readiness index will be vital for directing investments aimed at meeting the National Broadband Mission.

According to Ms. Sundarajan, there is a pressing need to increase the number of mobile base stations by three times and expand optical fiber rollouts by four times in order to meet the target of providing broadband for all.

India Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan,    –  File photo

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“According to a study by ICRIER (a research firm), USD 100 billion investment will have seven-fold multiplier effect on GDP. There is a need of a national mission to make this happen. We are going to launch broadband readiness index for states which will be vital for investments,” Sundararajan told PTI.  She said the Ministry of Electronics and IT has also shown interest in states readiness index and want to expand it further.

The telecom ministry will hold first workshop on implementation of the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) which envisions US $100 billion investment in telecom sector by 2022, broadband connectivity at 50 megabit per second speed to every citizen, telecom connectivity at every corner of India and creating 40 lakh jobs.

“This is first preparatory national workshop on implementation of NDCP in which 25 states have confirmed to participate. Here we will launch National Broadband Mission to achieve objective of broadband for all,” Sundararajan said.

Industry leaders and associations will discuss at the NDCP workshop issues they are facing in states especially in rolling out telecom infrastructure which in turn impact investments.

“We want to ensure that 5G is not limited to urban areas. It should reach rural areas. For this, we have to work with states to ensure that there is 100 per cent penetration of optical fibre cables. Without massive OFC penetration, 5G services will not expand. States have to provide smooth right of way permissions,” Sundararajan added.

As part of the India government’s National Digital Communications Policy, the government aims to ensure all citizens have access to 50Mbps broadband by 2022. The initiative also envisions the creation of 5 million new jobs.

Sundarajan added that the government is eager to ensure that 5G is not limited to early areas, but extends to rural areas as well. To achieve this the government wants to work with states to ensure 100% penetration of fiber.

“We have to roll out Wi-Fi services in rural and urban areas. To deliver benefit of NDCP to people and create jobs, states have to come forward. We will do comparative evaluation of all states and highlight best policies for other states to adopt it,” Sundararajan said.

The DoT has awarded task to roll out wifi services in 62,0000 panchayats to Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) and is working with ITI for setting up wifi hotpsots in other panchayats.

“Broadband services have been started in all panchayats covered under Phase one. Now we are looking at utilisation of broadband where states need to come forward and identify institutions like school, police stations etc that are to be connected with wifi,” Sundararajan said.

Meanwhile, the telecom ministry has launched a tender to roll out 1 million W-Fi hotspots across all 250,000 village panchayats (local government areas) in the nation. The government is encouraging states to identify institutions that are to be connected with Wi-Fi, such as schools and police stations.

References:

https://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2018/12/16/Govt-to-launch-broadband-readiness-index-of-states-Sundararajan.html

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/govt-to-launch-broadband-readiness-index-of-states-sundararajan/article25757826.ece

 

 

 

Samsung deploying small cells in large volumes for Reliance Jio in India

Samsung Networks is deploying small cells in large volume for indoor coverage for Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio, which is set to have 99% population coverage soon in the country, according a Samsung executive.

“We have seen drive happening on indoor small cells. But that doesn’t mean that outdoor isn’t happening. Outdoor is happening at a good speed basis the site availability and so on… We will continue to expand on this piece of the network [indoor] because there are places where it’s more value to go that way,” Srini Sundararajan, Senior Vice President and Head of Networks Business at Samsung India, told ET.

“Jio tells us what their network requirements are, and we support…indoor always volume looks larger because devices are smaller and are easy to deploy and are self-configured,” he added.

Samsung Networks had earlier this year obtained a new 4G LTE network expansion contract from its sole customer in India, Reliance Jio, to increase the telco’s 4G network penetration from around 75% to 99% by Diwali this year.

The South Korean company is the sole 4G equipment provider to Jio with contracts to supply wireless base station equipment for over 140,000 sites for pan-India coverage last year, ET had earlier reported.

Samsung deploying small cells in large volumes for Jio's indoor coverage: Networks head

Image courtesy of Economic Times Telecom (India)

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Sundararajan said that Jio is expanding its networks for both coverage and capacity needs in the country. “It has to be both. There are still parts of the country we need to increase the coverage. Some of the hilly areas or remote areas. For every project, there is a certain percentage of sites for coverage and a large percentage is for capacity,” he added.

For capacity, Jio has started commercial deployment of massive mimo technology in areas where it is not able to add new sites easily.

In addition to 4G wireless equipment, Samsung is also providing packet core technology to Jio. The executive said that the virtualised packet core will play a crucial role in the 5G scenario.  Samsung is currently preparing to conduct 5G field trials in New Delhi in the first quarter of the next year, and is working closely with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

“We have a lot to offer similar to what we did on 4G, and which is why we said that we will partner with the DoT. We are directly partnering with the DoT to ensure that we listen to the needs of the government,” the executive said.

He added that the government’s involvement in these 5G field trials is very crucial for the successful commercial roll out since there will be 5G use cases that will have “societal value” along with the business value.

“The government is very proactively enabling and promoting to grow the 5G network. They are very aware that it is the ecosystem, and not just a vendor or operator. So they tend to bring different players into it to ensure that we are able to provide a high-value system for the country,” he added.

Samsung will be conducting the trial using the millimeter wave (mmwave) spectrum even as other vendors like Huawei plan to conduct trials in the mid-band.  Sundararajan said that the millimeter wave band will offer a large chunk of spectrum that can result in uses cases like fixed wireless access (FWA) with huge capacity for data services. “We need to have the technology in the mmwave to enable the true vision of the government,” he said.

Samsung is currently doing 3.5Ghz trials in the mid-band in South Korea, and in the US, we are doing mmwave trials. “We are technology agnostic, but use cases will drive the adoption of one of these bands,” he said.

References:

https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/samsung-deploying-small-cells-in-large-volumes-for-jios-indoor-coverage-networks-head/66555444?photo_id=65769267

 

Reliance Jio Blankets India with Inexpensive 4G Service; Where are the Profits?

Highlights and Quotes from India’s 5G Congress 2018

India Selects Cisco, Samsung, Nokia, Ericsson for 5G trials; Bars Huawei and ZTE

 

India’s DoT Creates Dedicated 5G Technology Test Bed after Ericsson 5G Demonstration

 

India Mobile Congress 2018: Telecom Equipment Vendors to Invest over Rs 4,000 crore in India; Samsung in Spotlight

IEEE President Jim Jefferies speaking at India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2018

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Telecom Equipment Vendors Investment in India:

Telecom equipment makers including Cisco, Samsung, Ericsson, Nokia, Intel and Sterlite Tech (from India) will be investing more than Rs 4,000 [1] crore in India, announced Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha Saturday at the third day of the India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2018.  That investment commitment is in line with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s goal to achieve a capital gain of $100 billion (about Rs 7 lakh crore) by 2022.   The amount invested will increase further, said Sinha, adding that the investment commitment shown by the equipment manufacturers is a part of government’s ambitious policy target to achieve Rs 7 lakh crore worth of investment by 2022.   Sinha said discussions and announcements at IMC show that India is ready for the emerging 5G services. The 5G technology (based on the forthcoming IMT 2020 standard) would facilitate massive machine-to-machine (M2M) communication and has many other applications.

Note 1.   4000 crores (= 400000 lakhs) is equal to 40000 million (40 billion).  40,000,000,000 INR is equal to 544,400,000 USD @ 73.48 Indian rupees to 1 US dollar.

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These are the first set of investments flowing in after the announcement of National Digital Communications Policy. In August this year, the India Cabinet has approved the National Digital Communications Policy 2018 that aims to attract $100 billion of investment and creation of 4 million jobs in next four years, in addition to an aggressive focus on next-generation of technologies. However, the investments will be made over a period of next one-two years, according Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan.

Among all these telecom equipment makers, Sterlite Tech is the only homegrown (Indian) company that locally produces end-to-end optic fiber gear, a critical digital infrastructure required to increase 4G-LTE footprint and enabler of upcoming “5G” technology roll-outs.

Meanwhile, Korea’s Samsung, Sweden’s Ericsson, Finland’s Nokia and the US-based Cisco have already partnered with India service operators and the telecom department to conduct field trials and demonstrate India-specific 5G use cases.

Industry experts discussed challenges in the digital communications during the three-day India Mobile Congress 2018 event, which saw participation from 20 countries and 300 companies, Sinha said.  Sinha added that discussions and announcements at the event show India is ready for the emerging 5G services. The 5G technology could facilitate massive machine-to-machine communications and has multiple usages.

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The India Mobile Congress 2018 was organized jointly by the India DoT and industry group Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) which represents telcos such as Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea as well as gear makers such as Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, Cisco and Samsung.

Sundararajan said IMC has generated more enthusiasm around 5G and the government has already committed to be at par with the world in launching this next generation services.  “We have already demonstrated government intent that India does not miss the 5G bus. We have already started to take initial set of action to make an enabling environment. We expect actual allocations of spectrum (for 5G services) to begin in the second half of next year,” Sundararajan added.

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Samsung in IMC 2018 Spotlight:

At IMC 2018, Samsung announced its plan for India’s first large-scale 5G trial, scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2019 in collaboration with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

In his keynote speech at the event, Youngky Kim, President and Head of Networks Business at Samsung Electronics, said, “Samsung will pave the way for 5G to unlock the full potential of India together with industry leaders.  We are witnessing a rise in adoption of new technologies, inspired by ‘Digital India’ and spurred by the transition to 4G.’

“Our partnership with Reliance Jio has empowered millions, making their everyday lives better. Our roadmap for 5G showcases our strong commitment to India. We will continue to be a partner in Government of India’s Digital India mission,” said HC Hong, President and CEO, Samsung Electronics SouthWest Asia. Leading Disruptive Changes Using 4G in Digital India Since 2012, Samsung has been a key partner of the Indian telecommunications industry. During President Kim’s keynote speech at the IMC, he said that Samsung has successfully built the world’s largest greenfield and the most advanced 4G LTE networks nationwide by partnering with Reliance Jio.

At IMC 2018, Samsung showcased how its 5G solutions can enable a variety of 5G-powered business models and scenarios, including: 5G home broadband services, Smart Cities and Smart Agriculture.

Samsung’s 5G Skyship (see photo below), which was developed in partnership with Korea Telecom, was flying over the exhibition center to demonstrate first response use cases. Samsung says it has been a pioneer in developing 5G solutions using its technology and experience. With its successful development of the first commercial ASIC-based 5G modems and mmWave RFICs, the company has been manufacturing compact-sized 5G radio and router devices and CPEs.

Photo provided by KT shows an unmanned airship using “high-end 5G” technology at the India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2018 in New Delhi 

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Samsung says its years of commitment to R&D investments since 2000 have come to fruition, as the company has been selected by the world’s leading operators such Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and SK Telecom for both 4G and 5G solutions and services. At the root of this achievement are Samsung’s end-to-end solutions spanning network equipment, devices, chip sets and the world’s-first regulatory approval of 5G equipment by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Samsung will continue its legacy of 4G LTE to enable digital transformation and provide a seamless path to 5G.

 

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