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19th Convergence India 2011 Expo highlights growing significance of Broadband

The 19th Convergence India 2011 Expo organized by Exhibitions India Group held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi was  the emerging role of Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) was topical and definitive at the opening ceremony of the 19th Convergence India 2011 Expo that is Envisaging a future for the communications industry to be data heavy, Hon’ble Minister Shri Sachin Pilot emphatically pointed during the inauguration that, “ less than 1% Broadband  connectivity is unacceptable”. Admitting that the technology agnostic government needs to adapt itself to the latest developments, he said “Convergence has happened much faster than anyone expected”. However, Indian ICT industry has all the ingredients to lead from the front. Hailed as South Asia’s largest event on information and communications technology, the 19th edition of Convergence India expos continues to make difference in the lives of ordinary men, by showcasing and promoting innovative technologies and new applications.

Looking ahead at the huge potential of BWA in India, the Minister further said, “different parts of the country have different definition (for Broadband).However, it should make tangible difference in people’s lives we are targeting.”
India offers a large market place for all the stakeholders in the communication value chain. It is time for ICT players and regulators of Government of India to take collaborative efforts to provide high speed broadband services in rural areas and best services at the most affordable price.
Reiterating the significance of growing importance of Broadband in India Mr Robin Mersh, CEO Broadband Forum speaking in India for the first time said, “India’s growth in broadband in 2010- second only to China and the United States-is leading towards the country soon becoming one of the top ten users of broadband in the world.” India added more than 2.5  million new lines of broadband last year and now stands at No 13 in the world- having been barely in the top 50 of broadband countries just six years ago.
“There has been tremendous and consistent growth in the broadband across India in recent years, yet this is just the tip of the iceberg” he added. Mr Mersh was speaking in India for the first time at the 19th Convergence India Expo.
Over 430 participants representing the Telecom, IT, Broadcast, Media & Entertainment, Green IT, Security & Surveillance, Cable, Satellite, IP Surveillance and Information Security sectors of 25 countries have gathered on this international platform to showcase cutting edge technologies, products & services.
The power-packed inaugural panel conference on “ NextGen applications…Empowering a Billion Lives” was attended by industry stalwats such as J S Sarma, Chairman (TRAI); Akhil Gupta, Deputy Group CEO& MD(Bharti Enterprises); Rajiv Bawa, EVP & Head Corporate Affairs (Uninor); Declan Byrne, Director Marketing (Wimax Forum); Gunter Kleindl, Chairman ( ETSI Technical Committee DECT); Rajan S Mathew, Director General (COAI); Robin Mersh, CEO  (Broadband Forum) and Weimin Ying, President LTE Solution ( Huawei Telecommunications).
Fulfilling its long-standing mandate as a premier knowledge sharing forum, the inaugural conference of the 19th Convergence India 2011 was also a launching pad for the release of the industry white paper prepared by Shiv Putcha, Principal Analysts, Ovum and titled “3G Gets Underway in India”.
The event attracted a huge number of trade visitors . Hon’ble Minister Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister of Communications & Information Technology, Government of India
The 19th Convergence India 2011 Expo organized by the Exhibitions India Group, was buzzing with business-to-business interactions. In addition to Telecom and Broadcasting, the exhibition floor had strong presence from the Broadband and LTE companies. The focus of the industry towards the two technologies clearly indicates the emerging trends and the growth path for the ICT sector.
At the concurrently held conference, a special session was conducted by Huawei Telecommunications to highlight strategies for successful implementation of LTE technology. The conference also covered discussions on digitalization,3G ,wireless broadband, network health, VAS, rural infrastructure and green ICT.
India has over 300,000 telecom towers for which implementation of green solutions is a daunting task. With over 15 million telecom subscribers being added every month there would be a corresponding need to add over 13,000 BTS’ per month. This would translate to diesel consumption of a staggering figure of 6 million litres on a monthly basis.
There was a general consensus in the telecom industry on the business case for going green. Operators who have been looking at energy saving options to reduce their opex felt, around 25% -30% reductions were achievable through green energy options. The amount of savings for a pan-India operator, based on this magnitude, would translate into over Rs. 1 billion per quarter.
According to Mr. Rajat K. Mukarji, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Idea Cellular Ltd., there is no single green solution (wind, solar, bio-fuels etc.) that can be implemented on a nationwide basis due to the diverse conditions in terms of climate, resources, geography etc. He emphasized on the need for a forward looking telecom policy that embraces this reality. Huge amount of investments and clear roadmap would be required to implement green solutions in the telecom sector. The moot point taken up at the session was to identify the key drivers.  Mr. Mukarji asserted that the Indian Govt. needs to give stimulus to these efforts. According to Mr. Sandeep Kashyap, CTO, Acme Tele Power Ltd. we need to view the problem in a collaborative manner. All stakeholders including consumers, IP-1 players, service providers and vendors need to play their part. Mr. Arun Kumar, AGM-R&D, ITI Ltd. advocated the idea of active sharing where two operators share equipment such as feeder cables, nodes and RAN Tx Systems. This has been implemented quite successfully in overseas markets. Mr. Danesh Bansal, CTO, Indus Towers Ltd. put forth an idea to combat the challenge of alternative fuel logistics i.e. distributing or accessing the alternative energy source for multiple sites. According to him the concept of a ‘Green Fuel Hub’ shared by telecom operators should be explored.

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