5G network to be based on open-source platforms: Qualcomm India

Ayushi Kar Mumbai | Updated on July 10, 2021

Indigenous O-RAN solutions to do well in markets

As 5G proliferation starts to gain momentum in India, VP and President, Qualcomm India & SAARC, Rajen Vagadia, believes that India’s 5G infra will predominantly be based on open-source tech platforms in three years.

Speaking to BusinessLine, Vagadia said the proliferation of 5G tech in India is inevitable, with O-RAN technology making an especially pertinent business case in this country.

O-RAN are new industry standards for the Radio Access Network supplier ecosystem that enables more vendors to participate in the network solutions space, which until now was led by a handful of players. With the hardware and software technologies for this becoming standardised and open source, many new entrants from India have entered the space to develop products that cater to some part of the whole operator network.


Indigenous O-RAN

Vagadia said in the current scenario, indigenous O-RAN solutions are poised to establish a firm position in the global markets.

“The scalability, low capital expenditure, and flexibility provided by an open-source network, make a convincing business case for telcos to adopt O-RAN into their network solutions,” Vagadia told BusinessLine.


According to him, the flexibility of O-RAN will enable cash strapped Indian telcos to gradually roll out 5G network solutions pan-India. Vagadia believes that despite financial pressures, operators will be compelled to adopt 5G network solutions merely to provide basic needs of the customers that are substantially increasing their data usage over time.

“Merits of 5G go far beyond the myriad of new use cases enabled by 5G technology. If operators wish to provide similar speeds to customers on the 14 GB to 25 GB journey, they will need 5G.” said Vagadia.

Vagadia, predicts the pan-India network to be an amalgamation of legacy 4G, open-sourced 5G and 5G solutions. “Right now, operators are juggling a bunch of things at the same time, if O-RAN had come sometime in the future, a complete roll-out on open-sourced tech would be more feasible, right now O-RAN is in the testing phase, but the low capex and flexibility of O-RAN tech makes me believe that a significant chunk of the network will be based on it,” said Vagadia.


Vagadia also sees O-RAN as the opportunity for Indian companies to create core telecom infrastructure for global markets, “Companies like STL and HFCL have been one of the biggest players globally, in terms of supplying optical fibres. They have customers globally with operators, which they can leverage. Our aim is to help Indian partners access the global markets” said Vagadia.

Regarding India’s homegrown standard 5Gi, Vagadia said in order for this homegrown standard to take off, it needs global standardisation. “Without global standardisation, there will be additional burden of testing all elements of the infrastructure and devices for various networks. In this globalised world standardisation and interoperability are the key to the driving economies of scale and faster deployment. Otherwise, you have another TDS CDMA or FOMA story, where technologies did not go anywhere due to the lack of standardisation,” Vagadia said.


Published on July 09, 2021

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