Prashanth Kaithamana, Senior Director, Sales and Marketing, Anritsu India

With 5G enabling innovations across the internet of things (IoT), automation and Industry 4.0 domains, testing and measurement of these upcoming solutions has become increasingly crucial. Anritsu is one such company that is enabling these innovations by providing products and services for the development, manufacturing and maintenance of a range of communication systems. In an interview with tele.net, Prashanth Kaithamana, senior director, sales and marketing, Anritsu India, talks about the trends and challenges in the 5G product development space, the company’s key focus areas and upcoming opportunities…

What are Anritsu’s key focus areas in the Indian market? What have been the key highlights for the company during the past year?

Anritsu offers high quality measurement solutions, both wired and wireless, for 3G, 4G and 5G. These solutions correspond to the utilisation of 5G technology for meeting the demands in the IoT, open radio ac­cess network (RAN) and automotive do­mains. Anritsu has been successful in catering to the considerable demand for testing and measurement equipment in the 5G pro­duct development and IoT domains.

What have been the key drivers of the company’s 5G-based business in India?

As 5G spectrum and infrastructure be­co­me increasingly available, we are bound to witness an explosion of new and innovative di­gital technologies and experien­c­es. Appli­cations such as real-time video surveillance and imaging across agriculture, healthcare and public administration are expected to drive exponential growth in bandwidth consumption. Anritsu, with its wide range of test and measurement equipment, plays a vital role in 5G testing for the diversified market, right from the initial research and development (R&D) stage to end device testing and manufacturing.

What are the challenges faced in 5G testing and measurement, especially in the Indian market? What are Anritsu’s key strengths in terms of product development and technical knowhow in offering 5G testing solutions?

Though 5G has its own set of advantages, creating a test bed suitable for 5G deployment is a huge investment. The bur­den for telcos is the cost of the 5G test equipment required for extensive 5G dri­ve test analysis and 5G user equipment R&D, especially on the frequency range 2 fro­nt that requires a larger infrastructure. Further, handling the 5G network requir­es ex­pe­rienced engineers with go­od te­le­com knowledge. The avai­lability of experien­ced manpower is one of the challenges in the Indian 5G domain.

Anritsu, with its diversified 5G test and measurement portfolio suitable for core network/automotive testing/mobile fronthaul and backhaul/metro networks, etc., contributes to the realisation of a convenient and comfortable IoT society based on the latest communication technologies such as 5G and LTE. Anritsu India undertakes 5G R&D activity in India and is aligned with industry demands.

What are the key transition trends from legacy RAN to open RAN, CRAN and vRAN? How does the company plan to address challenges in testing these advanced network architectures?

Telcos are reassessing the network architecture and considering shifting from legacy RAN to open RAN to break the fixed vendor concept. Since open RAN in­volves mu­l­tiple vendors, the challenge would be testing and integration with va­rious components. One way the industry plans to go ab­out this is by assigning a system integrator. It will partner with en­gineering companies and RAN suppliers and will be the direct po­int of contact for the operators. This is the way to smoothly transition into open RAN. The Go­v­ern­ment of India has enco­u­ra­ged local vendo­rs to work with local telcos to roll out networks leveraging open RAN solutions. This has en­hanced the rise of open RAN start-ups, whi­ch offer solutions compliant with open RAN architecture. Anritsu, with its wide range of test and measurement eq­uip­ment, is already successful in offering solutions to this market.

What opportunities does the upcoming 5G roll-out in India open for Anritsu? How does the company plan to tap these opportunities?

The telecom industry is about to achieve a major milestone with the launch of 5G telecom services in India starting October 2022. Anritsu Corporation wants to be a part of the technological advancements in India. From wired to wireless, R&D to design, manufacturing to information and management, Anritsu has the solution for every 5G application, including chipsets, communication modules, smartphones, tablets, connected cars, home appliances, security cameras, remote equipment operation, mobile backhaul/fronthaul and mo­re. Anritsu India, with its strong and efficient task force, will continue to partner with network operators in building a successful network infrastructure as well as with customers for 5G product develop­me­nt and manufacturing. We are very keen to be a part of the country’s journey and will be glad to extend our services for the communication industry.