Light Reading

Assessing the Indian Telecom Equipment Opportunity: Part 2

Sterling Perrin

Last month we wrote about the general telecom environment in India. (See Assessing the Indian Telecom Equipment Opportunity: Part 1.) In this second part of our look at India, we focus specifically on the major packet-optical trends in India, based on our interaction with operators at Light Reading's Next-Generation Packet Transport Networks Conference, which was held in September.

As our research partners at Tonse Telecom have written, Indian operators are preparing for a massive mobile data boom that will require a new architectural approach. The wireline network approach, so far, has centered primarily on TDM and SDH for the backhaul network, and so, going forward, the move is toward a packet-centric architecture that also accommodates Indian operators' existing investments in SDH equipment.

Common themes in operator presentations at Next-Generation Packet Transport Networks Conference included:

  • How to scale and accommodate data growth
  • How to ensure cost per bit is lowest
  • Building the relevant talent pool for data services within organizations that have been built around voice services
  • Dealing with the opex and capex of legacy networks

In this sense, Indian operators' networking concerns are similar to those expressed by large operators in every other region of the world. And many of the solutions proposed by suppliers and discussed by operators are consistent with our dealings globally. Among the next-gen optical technologies of interest to Indian operators are:

  • Switched OTN, including ODU0 and ODUflex for the network core
  • ROADMs in the core, including the emerging generation of ROADMs with colorless, directionless and contentionless functionality
  • Converged packet-optical transport systems for the metro core and aggregation as a migration path for the existing SDH network
  • Connection-oriented Ethernet in the form of MPLS-TP throughout the metro network for packet-based mobile backhaul traffic

Still, there are some major features of the Indian telecom market that make it unique -- or at the very least, markedly different from many of the other countries that are considering similar technologies for next-gen optical networks. Indian Institutes of Technology Professor of Computer Science and Engineering Ashwin Gumaste stirred the pot when he suggested to the Indian audience that the best approach for the future is to cut loose from the legacy past and build directly for the future with packet switching -- bypassing the step to OTN altogether.

Such a statement is controversial, without a doubt, but it does force us to consider that India is different from mature Western markets in many ways. First, the Indian SDH boom is relatively recent; while there is a large installed base of SDH equipment, the base is still relatively small compared to the decades of massive Sonet/SDH spending by major operators in North America and Europe. Second, we view 100G transport as one of the four major drivers of switched OTN, but the opportunity for 100G in India is likely very small. India lacks the advanced wireline access networks that deliver the vast majority of traffic on major operator networks today. Over the next five years, it is difficult to imagine mobile traffic generating sufficient volumes to justify 100G (and, again, 100G and OTN are partner technologies to a degree).

A final interesting distinction can be made with respect to ROADM technologies. In the West, a lot of the ROADM focus is on the opex savings benefits of provisioning bandwidth without requiring costly manual labor (or truck rolls). But in India, labor costs are extremely low, and we note that in the low-labor-cost nation of China, there has not been significant demand for ROADMs.

In summary, differences in the optical market are significant. We are not saying that technologies such as OTN or next-gen ROADMs will fail in India. As we noted, and as Tonse Telecom has written, Indian operators are indeed asking about all of them. But we can't assume that every technology that fits the U.S. market, for example, will also be a fit for Indian operators. Furthermore, the Indian optical opportunity is large enough that operators can demand market-specific innovation for their network evolutions.

— Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:48:14 PM
re: Assessing the Indian Telecom Equipment Opportunity: Part 2


I'd like to talk to you about the microwave backhaul segment of the Indian market.  Are you free to set up a call?

Todd Coupland


Vishnu Goel
Vishnu Goel,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 4:47:57 PM
re: Assessing the Indian Telecom Equipment Opportunity: Part 2

Assesment of "realistic" numbers required by the Network in India will be slightly difficult.Reasons are DoT (now BSNL) networks are still heavily old Microwave(PDH) and using the succession path to SDH. Wireline access was slowly changing till early 2000s.New operators jumped into procuring GPON/PON all of a sudden,as local kitting,or manufacturing is non-existent till today.So IP based network elements,particularly on transport Cores cant be estimated.Vishnu Goel T&M +919810101238   

More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Huawei summit offers insights into how Asia-Pacific operators are evolving their networks for the emerging challenges of LTE, LTE-A and ultimately 5G.
Network security is becoming an ever bigger deal for communications service providers and the vendor community is reacting accordingly.
Even as MSOs roll out integrated CCAP systems, cable engineers are heating up the debate over next-gen approaches that would shift at least part of the CCAP gear and functions from the headend to the network.
With the help of NFV, cable operators can offer new managed services, roll out other services quicker, reduce their equipment load and cut operational costs.
OPNFV gets a lot of love, but it has a big job to do.
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (9) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
Sprint, Verizon Face Reorganization, Job Cuts
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/20/2015
Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.