Jairam N.V., Senior Director, Marketing, HCI

Over the years, Hughes Communications India (HCI) has transformed from a satellite service provider to an enterprise grade managed service provider, offering a range of services. In an interview with tele.net, Jairam N.V., senior director, marketing, HCI, talks about the role of high throughput satellite (HTS) services, the company’s key offerings in the managed services domain and future strategies…

What role can high throughput satellite services play in the Indian market? How has HCI been tapping opportunities in this space?

The demand for high speed, reliable connectivity in remote and rural areas is increasing and HTS can meet it in a cost-effective manner. HTS collaborates with the government and private telecom operators to extend 4G services to remote villages. HTS is gaining traction in core enterprise segments such as banking, energy, maritime, oil and gas, and defence. Our HTS broadband service, launched in 2022, offers multi-Mbps speed per site, using high power multi-Gbps HTS, powered by ISRO’s high throughput satellites, GSAT-11 GSAT-29.

What are your key offerings in the managed services domain? What are your future plans in this regard?

We manage 40,000+ managed long term evolution (LTE) links, as well as managed broadband links, multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) links and satellite services, seamlessly integrating these diverse transport media to deliver high speed, reliable and secure networks. We will be adding OneWeb’s low earth orbit (LEO) services to our portfolio next year.

Our managed services go beyond simple reselling or service level agreements. We offer unique offerings such as bonded LTE, where we aggregate multiple LTE links for committed high throughput services. We have designed and manufactured routers that support multiple transports, including multi/bonded LTE, MPLS and broadband, all made in India.

Looking ahead, we continue to invest in new technologies and services such as mo­bi­lity, software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), cloud acc­ess, 5G, Wi-Fi backhauling and internet of things (IoT) projects.

What are your thoughts on the government’s Make in India programme? What investments/initiatives has Hughes taken in this direction?

Hughes has actively supported the government’s Make in India programme through various investments and initiatives. One significant accomplishment is the development of the High-Performance Dual LTE SD-WAN series, a multi-transport customer premises equipment. This in­novative product, which supports satellite and wireless broadband, MPLS, broadband and bonded LTE, has been well re­ceived in the market. In fact, it won the largest SD-WAN order in India against other major multinational SD-WAN original equipment manufacturers.

Furthermore, Hughes has fostered innovation aligned with the Make in India initiative by creating the quick deploy an­tenna (QDA). QDA systems have been successfully deployed in emergency si­tuations by organisations such as the Na­tio­nal Disaster Response Force and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited.

What are the key challenges hampering the growth of satellite broadband in India? What is your outlook for this segment?

Satellite broadband growth in India faces challenges but holds future opportunities. It remains attractive, complementing 5G te­­chnology with clear policies, government subsidies and streamlined processes for licensing, spectrum allocation and infrastructure deployment.

The growing demand for high speed and reliable con­n­ec­tivity presents im­men­se opp­o­r­tunities. Hugh­es is optimis­tic, driven by hi­gh speed demand, technology advancements such as HTS and LEO satellites. HCI collaborates and invests in research and development, leveraging ex­pertise for unlocking satellite broadband’s full potential in India, enabling digital connectivity for all.

What will be the company’s growth plans and strategies for the next few years? 

HCI is committed to providing affordable and reliable connectivity to underserved rural and remote areas. We will leverage our satellite technology expertise to im­p­ro­ve broadband access and enable digital inclusion in these communities.

HCI is dedicated to bringing in low-cost HTS/VHTS satellite capacity to make high speed satellite broadband even more affordable. We will collaborate with gove­r­nment departments, prioritising health and education, and extending 4G/ 5G ser­vices to unconnected villages th­ro­ugh pa­rt­ner­ship with telcos. Additionally, we will soon add OneWeb’s LEO services to our mana­ged services portfolio. In the realm of ma­na­ged services, Hu­ghes will con­tinue to innovate and en­han­ce our pro­duct portfolio. We are deve­lo­ping next-generation SD-WAN and 5G routers and exploring the addition of satellite IoT solutions, along with the aim to integrate emerging technologies su­­ch as edge computing into our offerings.