With data taking centre stage, traditional voice and messaging platforms are undergoing a massive transformation. In such a scenario, companies like Mavenir, which offer a comprehensive portfolio of virtualised network elements and cloud-centric solutions, are enabling operators to keep up with this transformation. A number of operators today are partnering with the company to tap into the big data opportunity and simultaneously work on reducing the capex and opex requirements for managing traditional platforms. In an interview with tele.net, Sanjay Bakaya, regional vice president, India and South Asia, Mavenir, shares his views on the key trends shaping the telecom industry, the company’s experience in the Indian market and its key focus areas…

What are some of the key trends shaping the Indian telecom sector?

India is currently the world’s second-largest telecom market with a subscriber base of 1.20 billion. It has registered strong growth in the past decade and half. The Indian mobile economy is growing rapidly and will contribute significantly to GDP. The Indian telecom sector is undergoing a key transformation in terms of 5G readiness to provide a platform for IoT and high-speed internet in line with the Digital India vision. The second big transformation will be related to changes in network infrastructure to adapt to the needs of upcoming technologies such as network slicing and edge computing to enhance the customer experience. Rebuilding the enterprise segment to capture new markets like rural areas that have remained untouched due to the lack of digitalisation is another key trend.

What has been Mavenir’s experience in the Indian market?

With changes in network economics, operators in India have shifted towards software-based technology over a virtualisation platform, which provides automated, faster to deploy, less expensive technology options along with a reduction in capex and opex. Mavenir’s cloud-centric approach and comprehensive portfolio of virtualised network elements, including 5GC, open RAN, vEPC, vIMS, RCS business messaging and security, help operators align with the needs of the changing environment and significantly reduce the capex and opex involved in managing traditional platforms through the adoption of NFV and SDN-based technologies.

How have telcos’ network requirements changed with the launch of 4G? How will these evolve as telcos gear up for 5G?

With the introduction of 4G LTE, telecom operators have realised the need for a cloud-centric approach, which can help cater to the changing market requirements and enable rapid delivery of services. The operators have taken a leap to migrate their network infrastructure to cloud-centric platforms, which has helped them align with the upcoming 5G network that requires network slicing and stateless architecture. By building a stronger network infrastructure that supports future network requirements, the operators have achieved a reduction in capex and opex along with shorter delivery time.

What are your views on the industry’s readiness to deploy 5G? How is Mavenir planning to contribute to the ecosystem?

With the shift in technology requirements, the industry has aligned its existing infrastructure with 5G network requirements. Operators have started to explore cloud-centric products with flexibility to integrate NFV and SDN based technologies. The biggest challenge for the industry in preparing for a 5G ecosystem is high capex requirement since the radio density coverage needs to be expanded to provide faster speeds, shorter delays and increased connectivity. Mavenir’s contribution to the ecosystem has been critical in driving software-based cloud-centric products that can help the customers reap the benefits of virtualisation such as reduction in capex and opex along with shorter time to market for new business opportunities.

Going forward, what will be Mavenir India’s key focus areas?

India’s telecom market has undergone a major shift under the Digital India vision which aims to provide high-speed data connectivity for ease of communication across all regions. Indian telecom operators are expanding their network infrastructure to meet the high speed data needs of end consumers while struggling to generate revenues due to stiff competition. Mavenir’s cloud-based core network architecture is aimed at transforming mobile networks through a highly scalable and nimble virtualised evolved packet core that can adapt to a range of emerging 4G LTE use cases. Moreover, its visionary nature allows it to be natively extensible to emerging 5G standards. The resultant approach eliminates expensive hardware, long upgrade cycles, over-provisioning, and years-in-advance budgeting that traditionally characterise mobile communication service provider networks. Mavenir has a strong belief that its Rich Communication Suite will bring about a significant change in the enterprise market segment and will open new revenue streams for operators and channel partners.