On the back of increasing business prospects in the Indian market, US-headquartered Parallel Wireless is planning to double its workforce in its two offices in India at Pune and Bengaluru. The company is already working with a number of Indian companies in telecom military and public safety industries. Parallel Wireless now hopes to increase its engagement with the Indian telcos to help them in addressing the rural market as well as to address the urban challenges such as coverage, capacity and call drops.
Its solutions are especially geared to address the rural market. “Technical factors, like backhaul availability, make rural deployment tough. Rural networks require low-cost, low-maintenance and easy to deploy solutions. The telcos need to downsize the total cost structure, from RAN, tower, and backhaul to power and site rental fees, to take advantage of the rural opportunity,” says Rajesh Mishra, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Parallel Wireless. (See: An Exclusive Interview with small cell maker Parallel Wireless Co-founder, Rajesh Mishra.)
Indian service providers have largely focused on the urban markets at the expense of the rural part of the country. Low ARPU and low return on investment spread over a long period have ensured that overall teledensity continues to be low in rural areas.
“Rural market demands an entirely different approach for network deployment. Low population density, challenging terrain all add to the problems of setting up a rural network. The high cost of setting up a network is further compounded by a low return on investment and high network maintenance cost, making it unviable for the telcos to deploy the network in the country’s hinterland,” explains Mishra.
Parallel Wireless’s Our Converged Wireless System (CWS) is a software-defined multi-mode multi-carrier base station, is geared to meet these challenges. The company claims that it can be deployed in a rural environment to enhance 3G and 4G coverage, and it can be used to improve 3G/4G capacity and performance in an urban setting. CWS also reduces network complexity because it integrates flexible backhaul capabilities in the same form factor.
The company will face a stiff challenge from established global vendors like Huawei, Nokia and Ericsson in the Indian market. “We believe that our products are extremely relevant for the Indian market since they directly address the concerns of the telcos here. It is not just another product but a different solution, which holistically simplifies the network deployment while at the same time bring down CAPEX and OPEX through automation,” elaborates Mishra.
On being asked whether the spend on networks has come down because of falling profits of Indian telcos, Mishra says, “Yes, you are right, revenues are coming down, but that doesn’t necessarily mean reduction in investment on network up-gradation. The hyper competitive market environment here means that service providers have to continuously invest in networks to ensure the loyalty of the existing customers and also to grow the number of subscribers. In our experience deployment of new technologies, like 4G and expansion in rural areas mean that telcos will continue to invest. At the same time, the Indian telcos are definitely exploring innovative approaches, and it is here that Parallel Wireless comes in. Our products offer ease of deployment and value-for-money proposition.”