Rahul Pandey, Managing Director, Sales and Marketing, UTStarcom India

Rahul Pandey, MD, sales and marketing, UTStarcom In­dia, has over 17 years of ex­perience in sales, marketing and business development. He joined UTStar­com, a global telecom in­fra­structure provi­der, in 2005, and has since then played an instrumental role in driving the company’s operations in the Indian market.

UTStarcom offers carrier-class broadband transport and access (Wi-Fi and fixed line) products and solutions that are optimised for mobile backhaul, metro aggregation, broadband access and Wi-Fi data offloading. Its clients include some of the largest tele­com players in the country and it has also recently started domestic manufacturing of its products.

Among his most successful assignments, Pandey recalls an upgrade programme that UTSt­arcom carried out for BSNL. “The project entailed mi­­­­­grating BSNL’s existing PSTN/ISDN customers to the next-generation network to enable supplementary servi­ces using internet protocol along with basic telephony.”

On the current trends in the telecom sector, Pandey says that the rapid deployment of cloud services, video streaming and other bandwidth-hungry applicati­o­ns, as well as the growing popularity of smart mobile devices are driving explosive growth in data traffic. “Being one of the fastest growing big econo­mies and the second largest telecom market in the world, India is experiencing rapid growth in data consumption. 4G networks have beco­me commonplace, making In­dia the third largest market for 4G handsets worldwide. At the same time, carrier Wi-Fi networks are playing a more significant role, ca­te­ring to the majority of the wi­­reless traffic globally,” he says.

However, one of the major challenges that operators are facing today, says Pandey, is the se­ri­ous imbalance between gro­wing the volume of traffic and saturated ARPUs and dec­lining profitability. “In order to be profitable, they must stand out in the market with the most advanced and creative service offerings and att­ractive pricing.”

Further, Pandey feels that the adoption of new technologies like IoT and M2M will bring about a change in re­qu­irements in ter­ms of very low latency, high ser­vice availability, energy efficiency, etc. Whi­le the coming of 5G in 2020 wi­ll address the­se issues, a ch­ange in backhaul and aggregation network technologies is also called for to support su­ch low latency and other needs.

Pandey has an MBA with a specialisation in marketing and finance from CSJM Univer­sity, Kanpur.