Interview

Towards Connectivity for All – Hughes : Pranav Roach

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“The National e-Governance Programme of India will help bring the benefits of ICT to rural citizens and enable to access digital services and eliminate the digital divide.  Hughes’ objective is to not only provide basic connectivity to rural areas but also deliver value added services like   interactive vocational education, telemedicine and e-Commerce services.”

Read this and more in this exclusive interview with Pranav Roach, President, Hughes Network Systems India Ltd.

What is the vision and objectives of Hughes endeavour of providing connectivity to    cities and rural areas in India? How is it aligned to the goals of the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) of the government of India?

Hughes is the world’s leading provider of broadband satellite services, products, and network  soluions. Hughes provides broadband satellite networks and services for large enterprises, governments, small businesses, and consumers – in over 100 countries. HughesNet  encompasses all broadband solutions and managed services, bringing the best of satellite and  terrestrial technologies. Its broadband satellite products are based on the IpoS (IP over  Satellite) global standard, approved by the TIA (Telecommunication Industry Association), ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute), and ITU (International Telecommunication Union) standards organisations.

Given some key factors like – the size of our country and lack of adequate communication  infrastructure in the rural areas and problems (both from a technical perspective and cost)  associated with building terrestrial infrastructure in rural areas; coupled with the ubiquitous  nature of satellite coverage, Hughes believes that satellite technology is best suited to deliver communication services to rural India.

The National e-Governance Programme of India will help bring the benefi ts of ICT to rural  citizens and enable to access digital services and eliminate the digital divide. Hughes’  objective is to not only provide basic connectivity to rural areas but also deliver value added  services like interactive vocational education, telemedicine and e-Commerce services. Hughes  is participating in the NeGP program and expects to provide connectivity and more importantly also value added services to energise the rural India.

Hughes is in partnership with government and other industry plays in establishing Internet  kiosks as part of the common service centres core component of the NeGP. Please tell us about  this initiative of yours. Hughes currently operates broadband kiosks or centres nationwide  across 250 towns and provides interactive vocational education programs, internet access and  other value added services such as pre-paid mobile top-ups, rail ticketing, low-cost air  ticketing, etc. In addition, Hughes is participating in the NeGP and expects to enable  e-Governance services over its network. In the next 6 –12 months we expect to connect over 10,000 centres across the country. Hughes is also working with several industry players to  bring digital services and the benefi ts of ICT to rural markets and citizens.

What are some of the unique features of the broadband
services being provided by the Hughes Fusion?

One key aspect is the ease of deployment across the country and availability of relevant  services and applications in a cost effective manner. What this means is that the broadband  centers can be set up quickly irrespective of location and offer users identical experience.

Satellite such interactive or live learning is an excellent service. All services are integrated with service providers for enabling transactions, billing and payment settlement in a transparent manner. Hughes systems enable a variety of services including:

  • Broadband Internet access
  • VoIP (voice over Internet protocoal) telephony
  • Multicast data delivery
  • Multimedia, including MPEG video and digital video record capabilities


How important do you think is the public-private-partnership
(PPP) mode of implementation of e-Governance projects? What are some of your company’s government sector partnerships currently going on?

Very important. PPP as a mode for implementation of eGovernance projects is the right way to ensure availability of ICT services to the underserved areas. The major diffi culty associated with providing services in the underserved regions in the fi nancial viability of delivering  services which can be signifi cantly overcome in this mode.

Hughes has been in the Indian market for a decade now, being
one of the fi rst    global telecom company to enter India. What edge does your company has over other market players in the fi eld of network and communication technologies?

Hughes has been operating in the Indian market for over two decades and has been successful  in building several companies which have built infrastructure on the ground. Our services  and solutions enable government networks, private networks like banks, stock exchanges and  rural networks and now underserved areas in rural India. Hughes is a recognised brand and a  trusted services provider.

Please tell us how security of information is being achieved.

Security is a very important aspect. Every Hughes HN System comes with standard DES  encryption for data and Triple DES encryption for key distribution on the outroute carrier.  The Hughes network today serves a variety of mission critical services for government  departments, banks and stock exchanges and other large enterprises where security is a  critical feature.

Please tell us about the Hughes MobileSat system for global
connectivity in realising the goal of any where, any time access.

In a world of modern communications, staying connected to family, friends, or the offi ce is no  longer an option—it is a necessity. In today’s global business world, access to critical corporate  information is essential for success. The challenge of global connectivity with anywhere,  anytime access cannot be met by terrestrial solutions alone. Wherever people go, their need for instant access to voice communications and data must be addressed with 21st century technology.

For more than 40 years, the HUGHES has been a pioneer in developing satellite technology  and global satellite systems for  businesses and consumers. Hughes Network Systems is a  global market leader in transportable satellite networks and terminals. Hughes provides  network solutions and user terminals to the world’s dominant operators in the mobile satellite  business. From high-speed BGAN transportable voice and data terminals for Inmarsat, to  dual-mode mobile handsets, Hughes is meeting the communications needs of the global community.

The Indian telecommunications market is emerging to be a huge market. What are some of your future plans to expand in this market?

We plan to bring access of digial services – interactive education, telemedicines and e-Commerce services in the underserved areas and the rural markets.

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