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“WiMAX has seen very good traction and adoption in India”, says Tata Elxsi
TT Correspondent |  New Delhi |  25 Mar 2009

Prasanna Gokhale, Corporate Manager Marketing- Telecom & Wireless, Tata Elxsi takes us through the wireless offerings of the company particularly for the WiMAX industry in an interaction with TelecomTiger


Q1) Where do Tata Elxsi offerings fit in the value chain of WiMAX service offerings?

Ans: Telecom OEMs and ODMs targeting the WiMAX market face business challenges of time-to-market, evolving applications around WiMAX and the need for cost-effective solutions. This in turn poses technical challenges for the engineering teams, in terms of constantly evolving expertise requirements, product changes to suit evolving standards, and driving engineering towards lower cost solutions.


We offer technical consulting, product development and extensive testing services including system and interop testing. Our teams of domain experts, system engineers and architects along with L1 and L2 engineers, have been working with customers on developing WiMAX systems for the past four years. We are engaged in a variety of projects, from full system engineering, to market specific customizations, to testing and product sustenance.


We have also invested in developing solution accelerators through high performance software stacks for both base Station and Mobile Station implementations, allowing customers to get to market faster. We also actively participate in the WiMAX Forum and track changes to the standards.


Q2) WiMAX and LTE are considered to be competing technologies? How does Tata Elxsi justify its presence in offering solutions for both?

Ans: We have been engaged in wireless technologies, including GSM, CDMA, UMTS and Wifi, for many years. Tata Elxsi is a Services company and we have over the years build the expertise in various emerging technologies in order to provide value to our customers worldwide. Any of the technologies being competitive to each other is only incidental and does not affect our business interests in any way. 


LTE and WiMAX are different standards to address a common goal of providing broadband access. In fact, in this particular case, we have leveraged our strong expertise in WiMAX, and the experience of addressing challenges of such technologies on the hardware and overall system requirements, for customers targeting the LTE standard too.


Q3) Which are the global clients of Tata Elxsi’s wireless solutions?

Ans: We have NDAs with our major customers therefore will not be able to share name. However, we do have three categories of customers - Tier -1 , Tier -2  OEMs and ODMs who are designing and manufacturing telecom products, silicon vendors who are developing chips and custom SoCs for this market, and Telcos who are rolling out services. We have active engagements on the infrastructure / core network side, as well as handset side of wireless technologies.


Q4) Indian companies are not known to have presence in design and development of upcoming wireless technologies. How did Tata Elxsi overcome this major perception?

Ans: If you have followed the evolution of Tata Elxsi, we have been having specific focus on emerging technologies both in the wired and wireless space for more than 10 years. In the Wired Space, we were one of the first Engineering services company in India to work in the Switching and Routing Space.


In Wireless space, we have been one of the first Engineering services company to work on WLAN technology in the early part of this decade, as also the cellular side through work done for emerging CDMA and UMTS technologies.


We made strategic decisions to invest in developing WiMAX engineering expertise, and building solution accelerators and stacks for this market. We have done significantly well in WiMAX and are continuing with LTE now.


Q5) Give some insights into the company’s R&D activities and future expansion plans?

Ans: Tata Elxsi Limited has been in the Product R&D Outsourcing Business since 1989. Set up in Bangalore as a dedicated center in 1989 to under take Product R&D on Elxsi Mainframe Machines, the founding team comprised Hardware Engineers & System Software Engineers, who built the next generation Mainframe OS and a complete storage sub-system (6 channel SCSI Adapter) on the Elxsi Mainframes. 17 Years later, we look back with pride at the Inside the Box Competencies™ we have built to deploy technologies across the layers of products - hardware & software. We offer "Full Life-Cycle Product Design Services" to customers in markets that include Network & Telecom, Wireless, Consumer Electronics, Media, Scientific Instrumentation & Storage. The unique mix of capabilities & a multi-site delivery model presents customers with key benefits of cost-effective ''product engineering' & time to market advantages.


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25 Mar 2009(IST)