New Delhi. 21.07.2021. The Built in India Virtual Summit organised by ETTelecom.com and Telecom Infra Project explored the capabilities of India’s rich domestic telecom ecosystem, preparing to cater to the country’s fast-growing data needs. A fireside chat with Manish Gangey, Head – Network Architecture & R&D, Airtel, was one of the highlights of the day.
In conversation with Bryan Tan, Facebook Connectivity Ecosystems Lead, APAC on ‘Building Resilient Networks for the Future’, Manish Gangey shared how at Airtel they are using open, disaggregated technologies to build the networks of the future and addressing the rapidly increasing mobile data demand that will provide a massive boost to India becoming an innovation and manufacturing destination.
Manish Gangey elucidated on how these open, disaggregated network technologies are becoming a key element for the telecom industry to solve the need to expand wireless connectivity and improve the quality of experience in the context of a rapidly increasing demand, globally. “The kind of market we have in India, with the lowest ARPU worldwide, with highest data usage, means we really need to support customers with very high demand on performance and speed; yet the return on those investments is fairly low.”
The question he tackled next was how to build resilient networks for the future, which can give you the efficiencies on the capex and opex, and also bring in the new kinds of services and new ways of doing things. Manish Gangey clarified that open and disaggregated networks address just that. Disaggregation and open interfaces give you supply chain diversity, which in turn enables two things: more competition and more innovation.
The Airtel executive also touched upon how Airtel started the journey of OpenRAN adoption, beginning by disaggregating small cells and going into deployment and then moving into the macro, where you are disaggregating at a different level and with greater complexity. Their next step is to take this to 5G. “This is a marathon we need to run, and that’s what we’ve been doing.”
At the same time, Manish Gangey spoke about the various challenges that need to be addressed in OpenRAN to really prosper, calling out the need to have a vibrant ecosystem of radio partners to make sure all the band combinations that are needed are available rather quickly, as well as a robust DU performance. Additionally, the integration of the different components and the skill sets required for that constitute an opportunity for system integrators to put it all back together, whilst ensuring there’s no added cost. And finally “the way to do this integration very efficiently and where the biggest innovation has to happen is within the automation and orchestration layer.”
When asked about how according to Airtel OpenRAN helps strengthen the supply chain ecosystem and how it converges with Made in India approach, Manish Gangey talked about how a collaborative and varied ecosystem is critical for success in OpenRAN deployments. “A lot more companies can innovate, build the IP and manufacture the products in India, and sell all over the world. India thus becomes a great testing ground. And that’s one of the reasons Airtel is investing in this. We really want the ecosystem to grow.”
In this context, he went on to underscore “how TIP plays a beautiful role in putting the ecosystem together, addressing all the necessary requirements for building, testing and validating products at scale, enabling diversity, innovation and efficiency on capex and opex.”
Moderator Tan wrapped the fireside chat inspired by Gangey’s insights “If TIP together with Airtel can make OpenRAN successful in India, it enables many ecosystem players in India to flourish, build in India for the world, with India becoming a critical proving ground for Open RAN.”
India’s rising connectivity needs call for stronger telecom infrastructure. Experts point to open and disaggregated networks as the key. How ready does our speaker line-up think India’s telecom sector is for the future? Check out what they had to say in this session and all other sessions at the ‘Built in India’ Virtual Summit. Click here: https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/built-in-india.