Thursday, April 30, 2009

Telcordia gains in India through MNP initiative, customer wins

GURGAON, HARYANA: India represents one of the most dynamically evolving mobile markets in the world, with 10+ million new subscribers each month, and remains a strategic area of focus for Telcordia, a global leader in the development of fixed, mobile, and broadband communications software and services.

With its unmatched expertise in highly scalable communications networks, Telcordia is ideally positioned to help both the country's government and leading mobile operators successfully manage the sharply rising demands for advanced mobile services.

Recently, MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions India Pvt Ltd, a joint venture of Telcordia, was selected by the India Department of Telecommunications (DoT) as the provider of number portability clearinghouse and centralized database services for the country's southern and eastern regions for the next 10 years. This will facilitate accurate number porting for subscribers, enabling the transfer of telephone numbers when subscribers want to keep their numbers if they move from one operator to another.

"Telcordia is committed to the India market and is helping operators successfully manage the unprecedented growth, realize operational efficiencies, and maintain a competitive edge that will drive communications usage and revenue," said Mark Greenquist, President & CEO, Telcordia. "The recent number portability clearinghouse deal will bring added choice and convenience to India's 400 million mobile subscribers and accelerate the rollout and adoption of brand-differentiating, value-added services."

Telcordia is a leading global provider of fixed, mobile, and broadband communications software and services. For 25 years, the company has created the innovations that have helped organizations deploy advanced networks and groundbreaking new communications services.

On the number portability front, Telcordia is the world's market leader in number portability clearinghouse and gateway solutions supporting fixed and mobile number portability services. Telcordia market leading number portability solutions are already deployed in 14 countries, including the United States, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Greece, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey.

Telcordia's operator customers in India include:
* TATA Teleservices, which selected the Telcordia service delivery solution to grow its prepaid customer base, and introduce new and innovative value-added services in the converged environment.
* Idea Cellular, which relies on the Telcordia® Converged Application Server to consolidate prepaid services on a single real-time charging platform.
* Reliance Infocomm, which uses the Telcordia® Network Engineer planning and design solution to streamline the outside plant engineering process.

"Telcordia has made a substantial investment in India to fully understand the various cultures and business challenges that this hyper-growth market presents," said Greenquist. "We are seeing this commitment result in business opportunities throughout the country, highlighted by the recent number portability initiative."

Telcordia established an entity in India, Telcordia Technologies India Pvt Ltd, in 2006. The business is headquartered in Gurgaon, with program delivery offices in Hyderabad. The entity also includes Telcordia India Labs, a state-of-the-art facility based in Chennai. The office in Tidel Park provides dedicated software resources, including development, for mobile, fixed line and cable operators throughout India.

BIG TV Express Service to address customer queries within two hours

BANGALORE, KARNATAKA: BIG TV, the DTH arm of Reliance ADA Group, is launching Premium Express Service across India. This is an unique after-sales service initiative from BIG TV with the primary objective to cut down market response time.

BIG TV’s Premium Express Service is launched with a promise of addressing customer queries and resolve customer problems within two hours. The company has launched this service in select cities and town, but plans to roll it out across India soon.

As part of this service roll-out, BIG TV is establishing a massive customer servicing operations infrastructure across India. BIG TV’s customer service infrastructure will span across 500 towns covering Metros as well as Tier II and Tier III locations. This is one of the largest roll-out of DTH customer service operations in India.

Strategically, this is part of BIG TV’s thrust to enhance its customer service capabilities as well as retain subscribers in a market that’s indicating high subscriber restlessness to after-sales service of DTH operators.

BIG TV has established a team of over 15,000 technical experts and installation professionals as part of its after sales service infrastructure. The key objective of BIG TV’s Premium Express Service is to offer “on the spot” solutions to subscribers’ requirements in line with the “Reliance BIG TV Cares for You” customer service motto.

Commenting on the development, Sanjay Behl, BIG TV said: “Reliance BIG TV’s customer centric approach goes beyond just customer satisfaction as we believe in delighting our customers. With a focus on IPL and elections leading to an increased TV viewership till midnight by our customers, we have put in place a dedicated customer service team and robust process framework. We plan to expedite service request resolution turnaround timelines of all Reliance BIG TV customers. Further, we will also expedite our installation turnaround timelines at a marginal premium of Rs.250/- only. We guarantee addressing all customer complaints within two hours of its registration with us.”

As part of this customer service motto and to ensure uninterrupted service during IPL matches, BIG TV, India’s fastest growing DTH service, is extending its customer service timings until midnight during the IPL season. The BIG TV service timing is in line with the IPL Live Match timings to ensure that its subscribers can enjoy uninterrupted service during the IPL matches.

BIG TV has created service hubs at each Circle. Each of these hubs comprise of a dedicated customer service team to focus on regional customer queries, experiences and requirements. BIG TV has decentralized its customer relationship management resources to improve and enhance market response time.”

BIG TV’s Customer Service team is involved in every phase of product development. The Customer Service team’s inputs are now an integral part of the product development and management process including Conceptualization, Introduction, Sustenance & Growth of the Product life Cycle.

The company has tied-up with NIS Sparta to provide regular training of its customer service executives. The company also conducts regular customer service audits to monitor quality standards and customer satisfaction levels.

Extreme Networks delivers simplicity and control for LAN's uuter edge

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Extreme Networks Inc. announced network solutions that extend simplicity and management consistency beyond the wiring closet to the LAN’s outer edge. The ReachNXT 100-8t, an 8-port enterprise port extender, and enhanced EPICenter 7.0 network management system, provide enterprise-class solutions for eased wired connectivity and extended management to locations at the LAN’s outer edge.

Enterprise architects and users alike have faced difficult challenges when addressing wired Ethernet connectivity in conference rooms, visitor areas and similar settings, where network connectivity is often limited or temporary. The new ReachNXT Enterprise port extender, coupled with enhancements to Extreme Networks’ EPICenter management suite, allow for complete visibility and control of the entire network. This helps users who demand reliable, secure Ethernet connections and IT architects who require capabilities beyond the wiring closet that are consistent with the rest of the LAN.

“Extreme Networks lets enterprises take control of the LAN’s outer edge with intelligent solutions that helps reduce deployment and connectivity challenges,” said Harpreet Chadha, senior director of product management for Extreme Networks. “By automating discovery and software updates of the ReachNXT enterprise port extenders in conjunction with upstream ExtremeXOS switches, provide complete network visibility and control for wired connectivity to the furthest reaches of the enterprise.”

"At the Michigan State University/Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies we need to support resident doctors, faculty and staff within large remote partner hospitals ," said Chris Howard, network engineer at MSU/KCMS. "The ReachNXT 100-8t provides us with the flexibility to rapidly deploy a reliable wired infrastructure to support our ever-changing connectivity requirements. Additionally, its simplicity of deployment and low cost have reduced our capital and operating expenses at these impermanent, leased locations."

Ideal for education, healthcare and enterprise campus networks, the ReachNXT 100-8t is an Ethernet port extender that is easy to deploy and monitor, and offers seamless Fast Ethernet connections to devices such as desktop or laptop computers while leveraging the power and consistency of the ExtremeXOS operating system to the access network layer. Most importantly, unlike 8 port unmanaged switches, ReachNXT is visible in EPICenter via the upstream ExtremeXOS switch.

The ReachNXT 100-8t is the first member of a family of enterprise port extenders and includes 8 ports of 10/100Base-T and a combination 1000M uplink port (1000Base-T and 1000Base-X SFP). With its built-in SFP port, Reach-NXT 100-8t also serves as a convenient fiber-to-copper media converter, extending the reach of the network. The ReachNXT 100-8t can be powered by an ExtremeXOS upstream PoE switch or by an external AC power adapter while the 1000Base X SFP is powered by an external wall adapter.

EPICenter 7.0
EPICenter is a scalable network management system that simplifies configuration, troubleshooting and status monitoring of IP-based networks. EPICenter 7.0 includes a new topology map that provides end-to-end network visualization of network services such as VLAN, vMAN, and the EAPS resiliency protocol, which allows effective monitoring and troubleshooting of services.

Additionally, EPICenter’s improved scripting and fully customizable programming language functionality enables automated deployment and maintenance of network devices and services. EPICenter 7.0 has also been enhanced with an improved look and feel, with an intuitive and easy-to-use graphical interface that makes viewing and controlling the network more efficient.

To provide further flexibility in the adoption of EPICenter, a new entry-level licensing tier is available to address smaller network deployments. Features that were formerly available only under Extreme Networks advanced upgrade license are now included across all EPICenter license tiers, resulting in a consistent set of features across the product line.

Pricing and availability
Both ReachNXT and EPICenter 7.0 are shipping this month. The US list price for the ReachNXT is US $295.00. The US list price for EPICenter 7.0 begins at $2,995.

Bharti Airtel, Alcatel-Lucent in managed services JV for broadband and telephone services

PARIS, FRANCE & NEW DELHI, INDIA: Bharti Airtel, Asia’s leading integrated telecom service provider, and Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) today announced that they have formed a joint venture to manage Bharti Airtel’s pan-India broadband and telephone services and help Airtel’s transition to next generation networks.

Under the joint venture, Alcatel-Lucent will design, plan, deploy, optimize and manage Bharti Airtel’s broadband and telephone network across India. A new legal entity is being formed which will be operated by Alcatel-Lucent.

Manoj Kohli, CEO & Joint Managing Director, Bharti Airtel said: “This joint venture is another step towards Bharti Airtel’s vision to continuously redefine and deliver the benchmarks of customer experience. We will leverage Alcatel-Lucent’s global expertise in IP transformation and network management while allowing us to focus on customer delivery and market growth. It will also help us accelerate performances as we migrate to next generation networks for our broadband and telephone customers, opening the door to advanced services and applications.”

“We appreciate the opportunity that Bharti Airtel has given us to demonstrate our worldwide expertise in network transformation, managed network services and IP transformation”, said Ben Verwaayen, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent. “The expansion of our relationship is drawn on our strengths as a global services player, ready to partner with innovative customers in their business transformation plans,” he added.

This managed services partnership will include all end-to-end activities -- service rollout, installation and fault repair, service continuity and transformation. It will support Bharti Airtel’s transformation to next generation networks, offering advanced services like high-speed internet, triple play, media-rich VAS, MPLS, VPN for both retail and business customers. The partnership will also drive optimal capital investment and increase operational efficiency by moving voice and data traffic onto a single, 'packetized' infrastructure.

Strong growth momentum for Bharti Airtel as income grows by 21pc!

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Bharti Airtel Ltdannounced its audited US GAAP results for the fourth quarter and full year ended March 31, 2009. It has once again maintained its strong growth momentum.

The consolidated total revenues for the quarter ended March 31, 2009 of Rs. 9,825 crore grew by 26 percent and EBITDA of Rs. 4,001 crore grew by 23 percent on a year on year basis. The cash profit from operations of Rs. 3,788 crore grew by 25 percent over last year. The net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2009 was Rs. 2,239 crore, a growth of 21 percent over last year.

The revenues and net income for the full year ended March 31, 2009 was Rs. 36,962 crore and Rs. 8,470 crore, a growth of 37 percent and 26 percent, respectively, over the same period last year respectively.

Bharti had 9.66 crore subscribers, as on March 31, 2009, an increase in the total subscriber base of 50 percent over the corresponding period last year and maintained its leadership position through an improved market share of all India wireless subscribers at 24 percent as on March 31, 2009, up from 23.7 percent corresponding to the same period of last year.

Commenting on the results and performance, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharti Airtel Ltd, said: “I am happy to share the results and performance for the year ended 31st March 2009. Bharti Airtel has had an excellent year with revenue growth of 37 percent. Our focus on rural penetration and customer affordability has been instrumental in delivering this strong growth. The India growth story continues, and we expect revival of the economy in the second half of this fiscal year. I have no doubts that the telecom sector will lead the economic revival and Bharti Airtel will be at the forefront. I am also delighted that the shareholder’s patience is being rewarded with the Board having decided to give a maiden dividend of 20% of face value for the year. Further Board has proposed sub-division (share split) of existing equity shares of Rs. 10/- each into two equity shares of Rs. 5 each."

Operators lose prime position for LBS

BOSTON, USA: Wireless carriers are increasingly losing control of location-based service provision to Internet companies such as Google and Yahoo, and to handset vendors like Nokia, according to “Location-Based Services: Opportunities within an Emerging Battleground,” the latest report from the Strategy Analytics Wireless Media Strategies Service.

Operators have focused primarily on navigation, people locators and ‘find the nearest’ services, but struggled to drive location service adoption for each of these categories.

However, the development of cell tower databases by companies such as Google and Skyhook, along with the integration of location APIs onto handsets, has enabled the development of a diverse set of location applications for distribution through popular channels, such as Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Marketplace.

“Strategy Analytics expects that these elements, combined with greater GPS handset ownership and data plan adoption, will trigger growth in location-based service revenues from $650 million at the end of 2008 to almost $8 billion by 2013,” comments Nitesh Patel, Senior Analyst, Wireless Media Strategies, at Strategy Analytics.

Over 80 percent of these location revenues will come from location-enabled search and voice-guided navigation applications.

This report also identifies Google and Nokia as significant threats to carrier ambitions. David MacQueen, Director at Strategy Analytics, added: “Nokia has made significant moves in location-based services through its acquisition of mapping data provider, Navteq, and smaller companies, such as Plazes and bit-side. Nokia’s significant handset market share, combined with its ability to integrate location applications onto its handsets, places it in a strong position to compete with carrier and internet brands for ownership of location service users. Similarly, Google’s significant brand strength and carrier independent location positioning database threatens to disintermediate the operator from the location services value chain.”

Prospects for UMTS900: Status review and outlook

DUBLIN, USA: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Prospects for UMTS900: Status Review and Outlook" report to its offering.

UMTS900 is attracting significant interest from mobile operators, primarily because of the coverage advantages inherent in deploying UMTS at 900MHz compared with 2100MHz. All other things being equal, the lower the frequency, the further a radio signal propagates, which means that UMTS900 offers a significant improvement over UMTS2100 for cell range and coverage.

This translates into fewer sites and cost savings for both network build and opex, as well as faster network roll-out. These benefits enable operators to roll out 3G services to rural areas that might otherwise be uneconomical to serve using UMTS2100, or, for GSM-only operators, to reduce the costs of building a new 3G network. Other benefits include potential improvements in indoor coverage and better voice quality compared with GSM.

The ecosystem for UMTS900 is rapidly maturing. The technology is proven not just in field trials but also in a number of operational networks worldwide, and network equipment and crucially devices are in ready supply.

However, the pace of implementation of UMTS900 has been held back, particularly in Europe, by delays in removing technology restrictions from the 900MHz band. While the regulatory situation is improving, any significant delays in liberalising 900MHz spectrum will make it increasingly likely that operators will opt for alternative solutions for rural coverage, or even introduce LTE rather than UMTS in 900MHz spectrum once refarming is permitted.

This report reviews the deployment status of UMTS900 worldwide and evaluates the potential role of UMTS900 in mobile network evolution for a range of operator types.

Managed telepresence services to exceed $360mn in 2011

NEW YORK, USA: Telepresence, a kind of video conference providing the realistic sensation that all participants are actually in the same room, is a rapidly growing industry. The technology, however, is very expensive -- prohibitively so, for the majority of its potential users. Hence there is a growing trend toward offering telepresence as a managed service.

According to ABI Research vice president Stan Schatt, “The growth of managed telepresence services raises the prospect that soon virtually anybody, from multinational corporations to private individuals, may be able to benefit from this remarkable audiovisual experience.”

What makes telepresence more useful than phones, email, or ordinary videoconferencing? The key is the realism: in complex business negotiations body language, eye contact, and vocal realism are still critical. And for individuals communicating with distant loved-ones, there’s no substitute.

Today, telepresence managed services are still primarily used by large enterprises. But it won’t be long before small-medium businesses and eventually ordinary citizens can use the service. Schatt believes that “The price for telepresence managed services will eventually come down to where any mid-level manager can do it.”

There will also be public facilities, often in hotels or conference centers, where one can use telepresence for a fee. “That’s going to be very attractive to small businesses,” says Schatt. “Take a small business that has a supply chain relationship with an Asian company. The fee for an hour in a telepresence room is always going to be less than the cost of sending a key executive all the way to China. And fewer air miles are better for the environment.”

Many telepresence systems today are still not easily interoperable: another reason to let a service provider handle the technicalities. “We’re already seeing AT&T, BT, and Nortel being very active in this area,” says Schatt, “and India’s Tata Communications has started offering telepresence facilities in partnership with Cisco.”

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

SatGuide appears on small screen with .mobi version

HYDERABAD, INDIA: With the increase in growth for handheld devices, the future unfolds itself through Internet access on mobile devices. This being a prediction for future, is the next best marketing strategy for all consumer driven organizations in the country.

Keeping the same strategy in view, SatNav Technologies has launched their website as a .mobi version making it highly accessible for all existing and potential customers on their GPRS enabled handsets. This version is compatible with all Windows and Symbian operating phones.

Earlier, people were not comfortable using the GPRS technology to browse for information due to various reasons like slow data transfer speed, network coverage for GPRS services and limited performance of the handset browser software. Also, the handsets had low resolution screens and the price for the usage of the data was really high.

However, all these excuses have now become pre-historic. People are now more dependent on their handsets than before. Since mankind is on the move at all times, they depend on their handsets to be their extra helping hand in communicating to the outside world, in capturing important information and also gathering necessary information for them.

For a consumer driven company, to be able to reach-out to their customer no matter what given situation they are in, is a priority. With the .mobi version of the website, SatGuide customers as well as others interested in the navigation products of the company can browse and get all the required information on their handsets.

The company said that the launch of this version of the website was done by only keeping customers benefit in mind. The .mobi version is optimized to browse the website on a mobile phone as it tackles all the hard factors like screens, device size, input/output options etc and soft factors like immediacy of the results.

Malaysian MVNO Tunetalk selects XIUS-bcgi mobile services platform

NEW DELHI, INDIA: XIUS-bcgi, a leader in delivering innovative telecom solutions for mobile operators and MVNOs worldwide, and Tunetalk, Malaysia's low-cost mobile phone operator, today announced that Tunetalk has chosen the XIUS-bcgi Mobile Services Platform (MSP) to power the launch and delivery of its paradigm-changing advertising supported, mobile phone service initially in Malaysia and subsequently to other countries in the ASEAN region.

XIUS-bcgi's Mobile Services Platform is a next-generation convergent platform for Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs), Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) and new entrants into mobile telecommunications space.

Tunetalk was co-founded by Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of the successful low cost airline, AirAsia. Key investors include TuneVentures group and Celcom (Malaysia) Berhad, a subsidiary of Axiata Group Berhad (Formally known as TM International Berhad).
The company hopes to replicate the success of AirAsia in the mobile space by becoming the first pan-Asean MVNO by expanding to Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Tunetalk plans to provide attractively priced mobile services along with several value added features to create niche segment offerings.

The company has also established strategic relationships with retail partners for selling its MVNO services and for serving as end distribution points.

Tunetalk is launching on the Celcom network in Malaysia in 2009 and plans are underway for similar launches in 2010 in other countries in the region.

XIUS-bcgi will be responsible for the supply and turnkey management of the customized core network infrastructure for enabling Tunetalk's mobile launch through its multi-country rollout.

Announcing the deal, G.V. Kumar, CEO of XIUS-bcgi, said: "XIUS-bcgi is very excited about the opportunity to work with such a pioneering organization as Tunetalk. The agreement is a clear demonstration and validation of the value and attractiveness of our Mobile Services Platform for innovative MVNOs aiming to acquire and support a large subscriber base within aggressive timelines."

"XIUS-bcgi is clearly a leader in core network infrastructure for next-generation carriers looking to deploy innovative services, and we look forward to working with XIUS-bcgi and leveraging on their knowledge and experience in this area” said Jason Lo, CEO of Tunetalk.

"We evaluated several service delivery alternatives and chose the MSP based on XIUS-bcgi’s proven performance and expertise in integrating and managing complex deployments. MSP will greatly enhance our capability to rollout innovative subscriber specific services, enabling us to concentrate on our core business. With XIUS-bcgi's technology, Tunetalk will achieve flexibility in pricing, branding and service management across multiple network deployments."

Upendra Bhatt, VP and Head of the Emerging Carriers SBU at XIUS-bcgi, added: “This is an important strategic win for XIUS-bcgi, as it extends the global reach of our Mobile Services Platform into ASEAN markets. The contract with Tunetalk is a multi-million dollar, multi-year agreement and entails delivery of carrier grade core network infrastructure on a turnkey basis to power Tunetalk launch.”

Monday, April 27, 2009

Samsung I7500: its first Android-powered mobile phone

SEOUL, KOREA: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a leading mobile phone provider, today unveiled the I7500, its first Android-powered mobile phone. With a launch of I7500, Samsung became the first company among the global top three mobile phone manufacturers to unveil an Android-powered phone.

“Samsung is among the earliest members of the Open Handset Alliance and has been actively moving forward to introduce the most innovative Android mobile phone,” said JK Shin, Executive Vice President and Head of Mobile Communication Division in Samsung Electronics. “With Samsung’s accumulated technology leadership in mobile phone industry and our consistent strategy to support every existing operating system, I believe that Samsung provides the better choices and benefits to our consumers” he added.

The Samsung I7500 is a cutting-edge smartphone, featuring a 3.2” AMOLED full touch screen and 7.2Mbps HSDPA and WiFi connectivity, giving users access to Google™ Mobile services and full web browsing at blazing speeds.

The Samsung I7500 offers users access to the full suite of Google services, including Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Google Calendar, and Google Talk. The integrated GPS receiver enables the comprehensive use of Google Maps features, such as My Location, Google Latitude, Street View, local search and detailed route description. Hundreds of other applications are available in Android Market. For example, the application Wikitude, a mobile travel guide, allows consumers to access details of unknown sights via location-based Wikipedia articles.

Based on Samsung’s proven product leadership, Samsung I7500 comes with latest multimedia features. The large and vivid 3.2“AMOLED display ensures the brilliant representation of multimedia content and enjoyable full touch mobile experience. Along with supporting a 5-megapixel camera and various multimedia codec formats, the I7500 also provides a long enough battery life (1500mAh) and generous memory capacity up to 40GB (Internal memory: 8GB, External memory: Up to 32GB) to enjoy all the applications and multimedia content. The phone also boasts its slim and compact design with mere 11.9mm thickness.

The Samsung I7500 will be available in major European countries from June, 2009.

Reliance 'Magic Tariffs now @ Re 1' for Karnataka CDMA customers

BANGALORE, INDIA: Reliance Communications, India's largest and only telecom service provider to offer nationwide GSM and CDMA services today introduced a further convenient option of availing Magic Tariffs on a daily basis.

With Magic @ Re 1 the new CDMA subscribers can make Local calls at 60 paise per minute and STD calls at Re 1.20 per minute, by conveniently paying a rental of just Rs. 1 per day. Customers can avail of this attractive offer by recharging their prepaid mobile with Rs. 26 and enjoy the benefits valid for lifetime.

As a promotional offer, the Re 1 rental is waived for the first 60 days from the day of recharge. Magic Tariffs were introduced recently with the options of 1 month, 6 months and lifetime validity and enable customers make calls at 40 percent lower rates.

Existing customers too can make use of this unique offer and enjoy all the benefits by recharging with Rs. 34.

Packet Design's Route Explorer adds IPv6 support

ANTA CLARA, USA: Packet Design has added support for IPv6 to Route Explorer, its network management system that gives enterprises and service providers visibility into routing operations on their IP networks. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) developed IPv6 to replace the existing version, IPv4, which faces address-space limitations as Internet usage continues to grow.

With the new IPv6 capability, Route Explorer, which works by passively "listening" to routing protocol exchanges and computing a real-time, network-wide layer-3 topology, will now be able to monitor and analyze IPv6 networks, as well as those running IPv4. This information will enable network engineers to quickly identify and resolve problems, perform effective network maintenance, and do accurate change planning on increasingly complex networks that incorporate both versions of the protocol.

Route Explorer's IPv6 support is initially available for BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) and IS-IS (Intermediate System to Intermediate System), two routing protocols used widely by service providers. Support for IPv6 on the OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) routing protocol will be added later this year, followed by Cisco's enterprise-oriented EIGRP (Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol) in 2010.

"With the Internet expanding to encompass everything from phones to appliances, the use of IPv6 and its greatly expanded address space will become a necessity," said Jeff Raice, Packet Design's executive vice president of marketing and business development.

"While few organizations today have moved exclusively to IPv6, many are beginning to deploy it in parallel with IPv4 as they prepare their networks to support next-generation standards and heavier traffic volumes. Companies in the Far East and a growing number of service providers worldwide are taking the lead in this area, and migration to IPv6 is mandated for the US federal government. Since many of these organizations use Route Explorer to troubleshoot and plan their networks, it was critical for us to begin supporting IPv6 before it moves fully into the mainstream.

"Based on the market demand we've seen, IS-IS and BGP are most important for early adopters of IPv6, who are chiefly service providers. We will later add support for OSPF and EIGRP, as well as providing specialized variations such as 6PE, VPNv6 and 6VPE for providers of VPN [virtual private network] services," he added.

IPv6 support for the IS-IS and BGP protocols is available immediately as a $5,000 option with version 7.5 of the Route Explorer software.

Mobile handset market stays afloat with 258 million shipped in 1Q-2009: ABI Research

NEW YORK, USA: Despite tough corporate and unemployment news making the headlines, the mobile handset-buying public did not head to the hills during the first quarter of 2009.

Handset vendors had shipped 258 million handsets by the end of the quarter. Although that represents an 11% year-over-year decline, the result significantly exceeded the previous forecast of 253.5 million. “Green shoots are sprouting,” is how ABI Research vice president Jake Saunders describes the latest figures.

Distributors reduced their inventories in 4Q-2008 and 1Q-2009 as they prepared for economic Armageddon but the market did not take another “leg down” in 1Q-2009. ABI Research has introduced a note of mild optimism in its handset forecasts for YE-2009, revising them from -8.4 percent to -8 percent. Saunders notes, “This will not be a V-shaped recovery. 2Q-2008 was a fairly strong quarter for handset sales so handset shipments for 2Q-2009 are going to report a -10 percent decline YoY, but QoQ, they should show improvement.”

“As always there are winners and losers,” comments practice director Kevin Burden. “Samsung and LG demonstrated healthy gains to take their market shares to 17.8 percent and 8.8 percent, respectively. Another star performer was RIM which raised its share to 3 percent due largely to the success of its Blackberry Bold.

It is a little curious that Apple’s market share is just 1.5 percent given the success of its AppStore. As popular as the iPhone3G has been, increased competition in the touch-screen segment and a lack of product differentiation may be dampening demand. ABI Research expects that by 2H-2009 the iPhone3G will have one or more siblings. That will allow Apple to accelerate growth.

Nokia was beaten out by SonyEricsson for the dubious distinction of showing the largest contractions (their shares now stand at 36.2 percent and 5.6 percent). Nokia will breathe a sigh of relief once its latest smartphone, the N97, enters the market. Nokia has had a fair amount of success with the E71 but needs to beef up its touch-screen product lines.

While Sony-Ericsson has the Experia smartphone line-up, the firm’s exposure to the feature phone segment was squeezed more than other handset sectors. While feature phones serve many needs in the market, operators have been especially keen to snap up smartphone stock and were cooler on the ultra-low cost and feature phone orders.

Despite the positive signs, says ABI Research, the industry should be cautious. The IMF has issued another sharp downgrade to its global outlook. Unemployment figures are also likely to continue creeping up. Buyers in the developed world are still concerned about debt and job security. Developing economies are expected to take a hit on the credit side which could have knock-on consequences on credit lines for purchases and stock levels.

Arthur D. Little sees mobile payments surging ahead

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND: In the last five years, markets with mobile payment offers have matured with a variety of players entering the industry value chain and new services being launched.

Initially, there was a race to enter the market and a strong rivalry between different technological propositions that would facilitate mobile transaction channels. Today, we observe that, in many national markets, only one or two dominant mobile payment platforms (e.g. the paybox platform in Austria) have prevailed, and key issues now being addressed include cross border interoperability and standardization.

While the prevailing financial crisis poses challenges to value chain players, we still believe that m-payment services will significantly develop over the coming years with the rise of mobile internet, the continuous improvement of mobile handsets and the younger generation’s preference for mobile services.

Arthur D. Little’s new global m-payment report: “M-Payments surging ahead: distinct opportunities in developed and emerging markets" provides insights into the current stages of the m-payment market development in different countries and regions, and draws conclusions for relevant value chain players.

Arthur D. Little expects m-payments to grow globally at 68 percent pa and to reach a transaction volume of almost USD 250 billion by 2012. M-payments will develop differently in emerging and developed markets resulting in emerging countries growing faster, representing 65% of the total transaction volume by 2012. In developed markets, m-payment services will not substitute existing payment systems, as massive adoption will be limited to niche segments.

"Despite the current hype, we do not expect to see a massive Near-Field-Communication (NFC) adoption in a majority of developed countries until 2011 at the earliest", says Karim Taga, co-author of the report and Director at Arthur D. Little’s Telecoms, Information, Media & Electronics (TIME) Practice.

Leveraging existing customer relationships will be critical to encourage market adoption, while cross-border partnerships will become more important. In emerging markets, m-payment services will become the first widespread, cashless transaction system. End user's benefits will mainly be created through low-value, but high-frequency transaction services, while remittances will be the strong growth driver for transaction volume and cross-border cooperation.

Arthur D. Little has distinct recommendations for the relevant value chain players:

* Mobile network operators should focus on low-value, high-frequency transaction services in emerging markets and especially on remittances. Playing an active role in shaping the regulatory environment is crucial to preserve the long-term market development potential, and establishing inter-country operability will ensure the success of remittance services.

* In developed markets, mobile network operators need especially to focus on reaching the required critical mass in terms of retailing partners, as we expect a shift from predominant low-value services to Near-Field-Communication (NFC)-enabled high-value services in the medium-term. Partnerships with independent payment service providers are one way to speed up the expansion of the value chain network.

* For financial institutions, m-banking and related m-payment services can be a differentiating factor and a chance to tap into the trillion US$ market of micro cash payments.

* For merchants, it is best to evaluate the m-payment channel as a means to increase customer convenience, mobility and accessibility of their services and goods.

* We recommend independent payment service providers to expand their partnerships in order to become better integrated in the market, and hence to increase their bargaining power concerning value chain margin distributions.

Suppliers (e.g., handset and point-of-sale terminal vendors) should participate in Near-Field-Communication (NFC) trials in order to improve their readiness for market growth.

“M-Payments surging ahead: distinct opportunities in developed and emerging markets” is available for download at

VocalTec partners with AMT Group for VoIP solutions

HERZLIA, ISRAEL: VocalTec Communications Ltd, a global provider of carrier-class multimedia and voice-over-IP solutions for communication service providers, has signed a partnership agreement with AMT Group, a Russian systems integrator. The partnership has already yielded a first joint customer.

The partnership will focus on the delivery of VocalTec's comprehensive set of VoIP solutions to service providers and enterprise customers across Russia. AMT Group is fully certified to market, sell, install and support VocalTec's products and solutions.

The partnership is part of VocalTec’s strategy to expand the sales of its Essentra VoIP solutions through well respected channel partners in Russia. AMT Group specializes in the in design, implementation and technical support of complex telecommunication and information systems, having already successfully implemented and delivered thousands of projects.

AMT Group’s experience and large local presence will serve to further promote VocalTec’s widely accepted solutions in Russia.

VocalTec and AMT Group are happy to announce the first customer of this partnership. Ijsvyaz Invest, an alternative carrier in Russia, has deployed VocalTec's Essentra BAX, class 5 application server enabling the delivery of residential and hosted enterprise VoIP services over any broadband infrastructure. The deployment also features VocalTec’s Essentra iCX, a uniquely integrated SIP-to-SS7 solution enabling seamless interworking between IP and legacy networks.

“VocalTec’s Essentra solutions are ideal for the needs of competitive and next-generation VoIP carriers in Russia," said Oleg Tabarovsky, Technical director at AMT Group. "We value this partnership and believe that VocalTec and AMT Group share the same inspiration, based on leveraging next generation technologies to provide fast ROI and business advantages to carriers."

“AMT Group’s customer-base and expertise, together with our comprehensive VoIP offering, ideally positions us to take advantage of the fast growing VoIP market in Russia," said Ido Gur, President and CEO at VocalTec. "We are delighted to welcome AMT Group as our partner and view this agreement as another very positive step in expanding our presence in Russia. VocalTec’s class-5 certification by Infocom, the Russian Center of Examination and Certification is expected to further enhance the market opportunity for both companies.”

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rules change in mobile handset outsourcing business: iSuppli

EL SEGUNDO, USA: With the structure of the mobile handset supply chain upended by the global economic crisis, the old rules for the contract manufacturing of wireless devices have been overturned, leaving new pitfalls for OEMs and EMS providers, according to iSuppli Corp.

One major rule change is that the contract manufacturing business can no longer count on incremental growth in outsourced production from all wireless OEMs.

"Until recently, the contract manufacturing industry yielded consistent double-digit year-over-year growth rates in mobile handset outsourcing,” said Jeffrey Wu, senior analyst, EMS/ODM for iSuppli. “However, the uncertainty in the marketplace now is forcing some OEMs to not only decelerate outsourcing but also to reclaim production by moving it in-house. Nokia, for instance, is one such OEM."

In 2008, Nokia decreased the percentage of its outsourced manufacturing volume to 17.1 percent, down from 21.5 percent in 2007. The attached figure presents the balance of in-house and outsourced manufacturing at Nokia from 2005 to 2008.

“This reflects a larger trend in the mobile-handset supply chain,” Wu said. “Decelerating and decreasing outsourced manufacturing by those OEMs that are still operationally competent will hurt the growth prospects of contract manufacturers.”

Thus, as EMS and ODM providers mull their future strategies, they should not fall into the trap of assuming continued strong growth in production outsourcing among mobile-handset OEMs.

Vertical structure goes flat
Looking at another potential pitfall, the success of Foxconn International Holdings (FIH) in recent years has spurred other EMS firms to emulate the company’s vertical supply chain structure, including component procurement.

FIH’s extensive integration of various nodes of the supply chain into its operations often was credited as a key contributor to the company’s success and its rise to the leading position in the global EMS market. However, the halo surrounding FIH disappeared in 2008 and was replaced by a series of disappointing financial announcements.

"When the economy is going strong and market demand is vibrant, the vertically integrated model can help an EMS provider grow because the economies of scale can be leveraged internally, and the manufacturing business and the component business can subsidize each other," Wu said. "But when the order volume drops, this model doesn’t allow a lot of flexibility for the manufacturing arm and prevents it from sourcing to external component suppliers easily. Thus, the vertical integration model is like a double-edged sword, helping an EMS provider to compete better when the market grows, but making it suffer more when the economy stagnates."

Because of this, EMS firms may want to avoid the hazard of adopting FIH’s vertical structure amid the market downturn.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fujitsu no. 1 in key North American optical markets: Ovum

RICHARDSON, USA: Fujitsu Network Communications announced that according to data from Ovum, Fujitsu has strengthened its top position in Aggregation (MSPPs/OEDs) and achieved market leadership for Metro WDM and ROADM in North America for 2008. Together, these sectors comprise nearly 60 percent of the $4.7B optical networking market.

“By continuing to make substantial inroads at major carriers and becoming the #1 metro WDM and ROADM vendor in North America, Fujitsu is clearly the leader in 2008,” said Ron Kline, Research Director of Optical Networks: North America at Ovum. "The company posted its fifth consecutive year of growth and outperformed the market, with 2008 revenues rising 14 percent as compared to a market decline of 4 percent. Fujitsu increased its North American overall optical networking share by nearly 2.5 points, capitalizing on metro network growth and its strong incumbent positions with Tier 1 carriers, which drove metro ROADM and MSPP/OED sales."

Ovum segregates the North American optical networking market into four main segments -— Aggregation, Bandwidth management (DCS/OCS), Metro WDM, and Backbone DWDM.

Aggregation, which includes legacy ADMs, MSPPs/ OEDs, and converged non-ROADM Packet Optical systems, is the largest segment and accounts for nearly 30 percent ($1,395M) of the overall $4.7B optical networking market in North America. Fujitsu has been the leading Aggregation equipment supplier every year since Ovum began measuring this market in 2002. In 2008 the company increased its share in this segment by nearly 3 points to 31.5 percent, which is more than 10 percentage points higher than its closest competitor.

The Metro WDM segment, includes ROADM and non-ROADM DWDM equipment deployed in metropolitan and regional applications. North American spending on Metro WDM equipment in 2008 increased 11 percent year-over-year, reaching $1,358M. Ovum believes that metro WDM will become the largest North American optical networking segment in 2009. Fujitsu's metro WDM revenue grew 77 percent on strong sales of its FLASHWAVE 7500 platform, which far outpaced 2008 market growth of 11 percent. Consequently, its metro WDM market share rose nearly 8 points to 21.4 percent and placed Fujitsu in the #1 market position.

At $793M, the ROADM market is now 58 percent of the total metro WDM spending and 17 percent of the total optical networking spending, up from 14 percent in 2007. Fujitsu has 32.9 percent of the ROADM market and became the market leader with a share change of 11 points versus its nearest competitor, which gained 1 point.

“Despite the challenging economic environment, Tier 1 and Tier 2 carriers, as well as Cable/MSOs, CLECs and Enterprise customers continue to rely on Fujitsu to meet their optical networking solutions needs,” said Doug Moore, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Fujitsu Network Communications. “Fujitsu offers the right combination of market-leading MSPP and ROADM products, along with experienced employees and financial strength that position Fujitsu to continue to grow our share of the optical networking market.”

Fujitsu controls 15.5 percent of the overall optical networking market in North America. The company participates in the two largest segments, Aggregation and Metro WDM, and has the #1 market position with a 26 percent share in this combined $2,753M sector.

Welcome to PC's Telecom Blog!

Welcome to PC's Telecom Blog!

Hi friends, I've been thinking about adding a telecom blog to my network for a very long time! The reason being, I started my career in electronics and telecom back in 1989.

I had the privilege of being part of Asian Sources Telecom Products -- a site, which I managed and built, with the help of my team and colleagues at Asian Sources Media, and later, Global Sources. Later, I moved on to Wireless Week, USA, as Asia Pacific Editor for the Asian Edition.

Back in India, I managed Convergence Plus for a short while, before launching four sites for CIOL in 2004 -- Mobility, Networking, Storage and Security.

Given this background in telecommunications, it is apt for me to start a blog on this subject as well. Telecom has been my forte, and well, it is a subject that has also won me four awards in technology journalism, while at Global Sources.

Again, this blog has been spun out off my award winning blog! That blog remains unchanged, and will continue to carry top-quality, world class content!

This blogs will now include specific blog posts related to telecommunications, as well as press releases, industry updates, new products, features, statistics, etc. It will cover wireless, wireline, broadband, networking, optical networking, Test & Measurement, etc.

Thanks for your kind support as always. Suggestions for improvements are always welcome! :)

IPTV in Latin America: Not so fast!

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has added the "IPTV in Latin America: Not So Fast" report to its offering.

IPTV will take a backseat to other pay-TV platforms as telcos seek alternative strategies to meet the significant market demand, according to this latest report.

IPTV in Latin America: Not So Fast examines the market for pay-TV services in general and IPTV in particular in Latin America. The 18-page report analyzes the regulatory hurdles faced by IPTV and the progress telcos are making in introducing various pay-TV services, as well as the various strategies they employ to make the most of the opportunity in the face of significant challenges.

The report cites more than 23 examples of pay-TV services and contains case studies of Telefónica and Telmex/América Móvil that investigate their respective pay-TV strategies across the region. In recent years, telcos around the world have developed an attraction to the idea of IPTV as a new revenue source and competitive instrument.

However, IPTV is simply not living up to expectations in Latin America. "Fewer than 0.1 percent of households in Latin America subscribed to IPTV at year-end 2008 and the technology had very few net additions during the year," notes Derek Medlin, analyst at Pyramid Research and author of the report. "As the market has evolved, it has become evident that there is significant demand for pay-TV, which is pushing telcos to seek alternative strategies to meet this demand," he says. "However, the reality is that the struggles on the front end have severely crippled adoption so far; regulatory issues are blockading IPTV altogether, or at least leading to deployment delays," he adds.

Although pay-TV penetration remains anaemic relative to the adoption of pay-TV in other regions, the author believes this is due to a lack of supply rather than a lack of demand. "Recent initiatives from telcos and cable companies are catalyzing the market by thrusting a variety of pay-TV services into underpenetrated areas and market segments," says Medlin. "As a result, adoption is taking off, making the low penetration levels an indicator of the growth potential, especially when gauged against the levels of adoption reached in other regions," he explains.

"IPTV will have to take a backseat to other pay-TV platforms for the rest of the forecast period, becoming part of a lineup of pay-TV offerings rather than the sole telco service," Medlin adds. In the future, the author does not expect IPTV to break out of its niche until around 2012, when it will be approaching a 5 percent share of total pay-TV subscriptions. "Pyramid estimates that by 2014, the region will be home to more than 4.4 million IPTV subscriptions, which will reach 2.6 percent of all households," he says.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Farnell looking to convert 3,500 prospects this year in India!

Now that's what I call aggression!

Last July, I had the pleasure of meeting Ms Harriet Green, CEO, Farnell Electronics, a part of the Premier Farnell group of companies. It is soon going to be a year since the company set up presence in India. Farnell has aggressive plans for India, with the company likely to look at converting at least 3,500 prospects this year.

I met up with Nader Tadros, Commercial Marketing Director APAC, Premier Farnell (see picture here), and Navin Honnavar, marketing manager, Farnell Electronics India Pvt. Ltd to get an update on Farnell.

According to Tadros, Farnell is said to be the number 1 small-order high service multi-channel distributor in the world. "We carry obver 3,500 leading suppliers and 450,000 product stocks globally. We have 36 transactional websites in 23 languages," he added.

Farnell currently has six warehouses -- one in America, and two in Europe and three in Asia -- Sydney, Shanghai and Singapore. In India, it now has nine branch offices, and one contact center and one global tech center (GTC) -- in Bangalore. The GTC provides live chat and board level support, which also translates into global support.

Tadros said that Farnell is aggressively are supporting the EDE (electronic design engineers) community and MRO (maintenance, repair, operatoinal) marketplace. "We have taken particular focus on developing the EDE space, providing support, services and relevant products. We want to make sure the value proposition is mapped on to the EDE needs," he said. Elaborating on the value proposition, he cited an example of x-ray machine manufacturers.

Global business strategy
Farnell has a four-pronged global business strategy. This includes:
* Focusing on global EDE customer segment.
* Increase business via the Web.
* Internationalization
* Continue to develop profitable MRO business.

Tadros believes that the power of the Web is tremendous. "It is very useful for customers to search and transact. Another area is customer demand. They are looking for efficiencies," he added. "An important aspect that can help us is that we are able to understand customers; needs. The data that the web search is able to provide gives us the critical information. If a customer searches for a part, and we track that, we are able to service their needs better."

Hasn't Farnell been affected by the recession? Tadros said: "We are not immune to the recession. The volatlity is higher, and it is also at the customer level." Honnavar added: "Our strategy seems to be working for us. We are maintaining our base in the MRO space. We are still pulling in customer requests and still growing."

So, what else is Farnell doing, besides these activities? Well, it has adopted a multichannel approach for the Asia Pacific region. It has 154 staff in eight call centers, besides being involved in direct and e-marketing. The company has nine local websites -- simplified chinese for China, thai for Thailand, and English for India, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. Besides, it has 103 field sales engineers in 29 sales offices.

Aggressive plans
I started this post by saying I liked Farnell's aggressive plans. It currently has 2,500 active customers and 9,000 prospects in India alone. The company has a target to reach $25 mn by 2010. It is also a walue added distributor offering products to leading suppliers such as Texas Instruments, Molex, and 3,500 other leading brands.

Touching on Farnell's clients in India, Honnavar said: "We have independent design houses, resellers, R&D centers, educational centers, government organizations (such as BEL, HAL), etc., among our customers. The prospects includes a huge list of people. We have touched the top layers in tier 2 cities -- such as Coimbatore and Ahmedabad. We are looking at converting 3,500 prospects this year."

More focus on components, SMEs
The components industry isn't exactly in the pink of health right now. Giving his views on the electronics and components space, Tadros said: "Customers themselves are not able to anticipate the demand for the next quarter or periods. We are seeing that there is still growth in the EDE space and inquiries are still coming in. During a recession, you have an opportunity to distinguish yourself from competition. There is pressure on teams as they have to continually innovate. Customers require more even support, more technical documentation, and look for faster turnaround times."

Farnell is in a position to help those SMEs who are in the electronics and components spaces. Tadros said that the company can support such SMEs by helping them to build their markets in a timely fashion.

Honnavar added that Farnell is focusing on building a product and purchasing team, sitting out of Singapore and Hong Kong. "Moving forward, you will probably get to see more buying happening in the Asia Pacific region. Going ahead, a lot of sourcing will also be done from India." The company intends to be extremely close to suppliers, especially in the Greater China region.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Infineon on India's e-passport and semicon industry

If you have ever been a resident of Hong Kong, you'd know what an e-passport looks like! You would have even used it! For example, if you were crossing over into Shenzhen, China, from Lo Wu, which is on the borders of Luohu district within Hong Kong and the city of Shenzhen in Guangdong province, China, [having reached there via the KCR (Kowloon-Canton Railway)] -- you can easily use your Hong Kong e-passport to get past the immigration point and enter China!

It is really easy! Simply drop your e-passport into the e-passport reader slot and place your finger on the fingerprint reader for it to scan and read. Once your e-passport comes out, move over to the other side to another e-passport reader, repeat the same exercise, and you're done! All it takes is less than a minute!

All Indians could soon have e-passports!
Well, such an e-passport can become a reality in India soon! If you haven't heard it, Infineon Technologies recently supplied contactless security microcontrollers (MCUs) for India's electronic passport (e-passport) program! The Indian e-passport rollout started with Indian diplomats and officials being issued e-passports -- around 30,000 to be issued in phase one. It is likely that by September 2009, the e-passports will be extended to the general public.

The rollout has started with the issuance of electronic passports to Indian diplomats and officials. It is expected that in this first phase, up to 30,000 electronic passports shall be issued. By September 2009, the program is likely to be expanded to include passports used by the general public. Today, around 6 million passports are being annually issued in India. I believe, the government of India has invited a new tender for interested stakeholders to bid for 20 million e-passports.

So, being a Hong Kong e-passport holder, I was interested in knowing whether the Indian version is as smart as that particular one? By the way, Hong Kong's e-passport also doubles up as your Hong Kong ID (HKID) card. If you don't have one, you simply cannot do business in Hong Kong! Your HKID number is unique and remains unchanged!

Dr. Rajiv Jain, Vice President and Managing Director, Infineon Technologies India Pvt Ltd, said that both Hong Kong and India are using the same product family from Infineon. "The security levels of both e-passports are based on the Common Criteria EAL 5+, the highest possible security certification for MCUs. In addition, both comply to ICAO requirements, the international standard for e-passports."

Infineon’s SLE 66CLX800PE security MCU provides advanced performance and high execution speeds, and was specifically designed for use in electronic passports, identity cards, e-government cards and payment cards. Sounds very interesting!

Highlights of Infineon's security MCU
The security MCU features a crypto-coprocessor and can operate at very high transaction speeds of up to 848kbits/s even if the elevated encryption and decryption operations have to be calculated.

The SLE 66CLX800PE offers all contactless proximity interfaces on a single chip: the ISO/IEC 14443 type B interface and type A interface, and both used for communication between electronics passports and the respective readers; and the ISO/IEC 18092 passive mode interface, which is used in transport and banking applications. The SLE 66CLX800PE features 80 kilobytes (kb) of EEPROM, 240kb of ROM, and 6kb of RAM.

The SLE 66PE contactless controller family, which includes the SLE 66CLX800PE, is certified according to Common Criteria EAL 5+ high (BSI-PP-0002 protection profile) security certification. Infineon’s security in MCUs used in e-passports builds on the underlying hardware-based integral security, with data encryption, memory firewall system and other security mechanisms to safeguard the privacy of data.

The SLE 66PE product family comprises a whole product portfolio designed for use in basic-security to high-security smart card systems, with the EEPROM sizes ranging from 4kb to144kb, and covering different applications including government ID, transportation and payment.

Infineon's perception of Indian semiconductor industry
So much about the e-passport! I can't wait to get my hands on one! Since I was in a discussion with Infineon, it naturally turned toward the Indian semiconductor industry and what needs to be done!

Dr. Jain said: "The Indian semiconductor industry has seen its share of successes and misses. The in-depth technical talent required for design and development is omni-present (TI, Intel, Infineon, Wipro, etc., to name a few). For example, we are doing critical R&D in the areas of automotive electronics, broadband, mobile communications and secured ID solutions at Infineon India, and the fact that it is one of the largest centres in Infineon’s global R&D network, is a testimony to India’s importance as the destination for cutting edge research. This has also led to creation of home-grown design houses offering services to the larger companies.

"We are also seeing in some small, but growing numbers, products and ideas for local markets. As the local markets evolve, so will the ability of these companies to deliver innovation for these local markets, which can then be taken globally."

He added that an area of debate has been the need for semiconductor manufacturing in India. For example, having fabs, test and packaging plants, and EMS. "There have been government initiatives with a few successes. However, financial, tax-related and custom-related investment in these areas needs to come together and be centrally driven from a long-term perspective, as these institutions, which can provide a stable manufacturing base, need larger efforts to be successful."

Hopefully, we will finally get to see some action on all of these areas post the Indian general elections due shortly.

PS: Just to let all of my friends know, I am no longer associated with either CIOL or its semiconductors web site.