Interview

Secure Connections in Challenging Environments : Subodh Vardhan, Director Sales and Country Head (Government and Public Safety), Motorola India

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Subodh Vardhan, Director Sales and Country Head (Government and Public Safety), Motorola India


Please tell us about Motorola’s mission critical communications solutions in various standards like Tetra, APCO, WiMAX, Wireless and broadband.

Private Radio Networks: Motorola has a strong legacy of partnering with public safety agencies around the world for mission critical communications. These include agencies like the police, fire, paramilitary forces, and defence forces. Such agencies cannot rely on public networks alone (like cellular) for emergency response. There are several unique requirements of such communications- firstly, communications have to be secure (no eavesdropping!), have to be reliable (when disaster strikes, public networks are the first to get congested), should allow for one to many communications so that groups of officers can be addressed at once. Equipment has to be more rugged and networks more fault tolerant so that they are available in the most dire emergencies. This brings in the concept of ‘Private Networks’. We encourage all public safety agencies to invest in such networks so that they can communicate effectively with each other.

‘Tetra’ (TERRESTRIAL TRUNKED RADIO) and APCO (Association of Police Communications Officers) are standards for radio trunking used around the world. Motorola is a world leader in both these standards, and based on customer needs we recommend what more appropriate. In India, both APCO and Tetra Standards are prevalent and again Motorola is the clear leader in both these standards in India as well.

The name Motorola is also synonymous with Walky Talkies. Almost every public safety agency in India is using our walky talkies for communications.

As user requirements become more sophisticated, just voice communications is not enough. Users look for data, for applications like database lookup (e.g. car license plates), geo-positioning (e.g. exact location of a police car or a policeman) as less bandwidth hungry data applications, and video surveillance and video calls as more bandwidth hungry applications. Tetra and APCO both provide data capabilities and future versions will offer much greater bandwidth. Then there are other technologies like Wireless Broadband that already offer high data bandwidth for video surveillance and video calling.

Wireless Broadband: Motorola’s wireless broadband group and Wi4 products deliver secure, reliable connections in some of the nation’s most challenging environments in mission critical communications and helps to build enhanced wireless broadband networks that are both cost-effective and scalable. Delivering IP coverage to virtually all spaces, the MOTOwi4 portfolio includes Fixed, Mesh, Broadband over Powerline, and WiMAX solutions for such mission critical applications.

How does Motorola’s Canopy wireless broadband technology serve the need of a secure and cost-effective broadband service of the customers?

The Canopy system is the ideal technology for developing, enhancing and extending advanced broadband networks and services and for making delivery of high-demand technologies like broadband Internet access, voice over IP, video services, security surveillance capabilities both quicker and much less expensive. The solution is being well received world-wide by telecom providers, wireless internet service providers (WISPs), and enterprises, where site-to-site wireless data connectivity is preferred over traditional wired solutions. It significantly reduces the time to design and deploy new commercial and enterprise broadband networks. It also, seamlessly, integrates with existing network systems and management tools to make extending and augmenting existing service simpler and less cost-intensive.

It has also been observed that the Canopy product can be an effective transport medium for real-time Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. The Canopy platform’s flexible product design allows network operators to tailor installations to efficiently meet the bandwidth demand of business and residential subscribers. High throughput services such as video and high speed data can now be offered to network users as an optional upgrade to their broadband service. As demand for bandwidth continues to grow, Canopy network operators can offer reliable, high throughput services sooner and at favourable prices. Service providers can design their networks to offer broadband service to an entire community and can compete for high revenue services in urban areas.

What are some of the advantages of the Motorola’s Canopy wireless broadband technology?

There are numerous reasons Motorola’s MOTOwi4 portfolio has a considerable advantage over the competition. The main reasons, from the point of view of a potential customer, however, are threefold.  First, Motorola provides a low-risk solution, compared to many industry players.  Secondly, the company has an organisational structure that fully supports its wireless broadband products.  And finally, it is one of the few companies that can offer an end-to-end solution to the customer.

There are several key advantages of Motorola Canopy Wireless broadband technology. It offers highly reliable communication in unlicensed band spectrum e.g. 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz ISM band. It provides highly secure connectivity with DES and AES 128 bit encryption, GPS synchronisation to avoid any self interference. It has industry’s best interference mitigation technique with a C/I requirement of less than 3dB and hence offers very high throughput of 14Mbps per sector. It offers customised Quality of Service (QoS) with prioritisation of applications, users and allocation of bandwidth using CIR, MIR methods.

It is very suitable for both public and private networks supporting all types of IP based applications and hence provides a value for deployment in rural or urban areas in license exempt bands.

Currently, it is proving its value and toughness in more than 80 countries around the world for a wide range of applications such as Local Area Network (LAN) extensions,  Internet subscriber service, Multicast video, Private Branch Exchange (PBX) extensions, Point-to-multipoint data links, Redundant network backup, Video surveillance, Voice over IP (VoIP), TDM over Ethernet (for legacy voice and data)

How does the Canopy wireless broadband system compete with DSL network and support services like high-speed broadband access, video surveillance, VoIP and City WiFi?

Some service providers need to compete with cable and DSL broadband alternatives. Others are looking to extend their network. The common goal is to deliver reliable, high-quality broadband service that supports bandwidth intensive and latency sensitive services such as residential Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), gaming, video content, video surveillance and high throughput data.

Motorola’s Canopy Advantage system provides carrier and private network operators a robust wireless broadband portfolio of products that provide the throughput to compete against cable and DSL alternatives. Service providers can now offer premium services to Canopy network users. The Canopy Advantage SM provides a 20 Mbps point to multipoint signaling rate with a sustained 14 Mbps aggregate throughput. Advantage system capabilities can be deployed optionally within a network, allowing capacity and throughput increases, as the demand requires.

  • Carrier network operators can offer and provide VoIP, video and high throughput services to customers as an alternative to DSL or T1 services.
  • Private network operators can support distance learning, video conferencing or high speed data transfer on a private secure network at a fraction of the cost of subscribing to DSL or T1 services.

Municipalities, Universities, Schools, and Hospitals need dedicated, high-speed connections without the high monthly overhead of leased lines. What are Motorola’s solutions in this regard?

Motorola’s wireless broadband solutions are bringing faculty, students, and administrators up to speed. Wireless broadband enables a wide variety of applications for educational campuses, hospitals and metro area network for municipalities that provide ubiquitous connectivity and excel at helping institutions meet their challenges by streamlining operations, reducing costs, increasing productivity, improving efficiency and enhancing backup and redundancy. An increasing number of educational institutions are using wireless broadband technologies to help them control costs, eliminate inefficiencies and enhance student, faculty and community relations.

Research shows that administrators and educators all around the world expect wireless data to become a vital component of their long-term strategies. The MOTOwi4 portfolio of next-generation wireless broadband solutions leads the industry in breadth and depth. Only MOTOwi4 provides a comprehensive high-speed ecosystem that delivers and boasts proven reliability, exceptionally affordable entry and expansion costs, faster, simpler deployment and installation, Configuration flexibility, High performance and interference resistance, Bandwidth management and traffic prioritisation, Network security for safer e-Learning.

Please tell us about the MetroWiFi solutions and how Metro WiFi helps to bridge the digital divide?

Wireless broadband and Metro WiFi are sweeping the world, creating a global buzz unseen in the communications arena since the advent of the Internet.

For communities large and small, Metro WiFi can help conquer the digital divide, encourage economic development, streamline public services and public safety and create a greater sense of community among residents. For campuses and enterprises, Metro WiFi can improve productivity; promote communication, information sharing and collaboration; tighten security and increase safety; and improve employee and customer relations.

As an acknowledged innovator and global leader in wireless technology, Motorola’s experience in ‘connecting the unconnected’ is unparalleled.  Our MOTOwi4™ MotoMesh portfolio includes  some of the most comprehensive Mesh Solutions available in the industry today. Motorola’s  Mesh Solutions provide cost-effective equipment, rapid deployment and fast ROI to the Metro  WiFi marketplace for public access enabling a wide array of network applications.

Which are the government organisations/departments
with whom Motorola is in partnership or plan to partner to meet their mission critical communication requirements? What is the progress of these projects?

Several police and paramilitary forces, the Indian armed forces, other public safety organisations and Indian Railways are currently using Motorola products for their mission critical requirements. Of late, there has been signifi cant awareness amongst such  organisations about private networks and many such organisations are planning investments  in this area. Further, organisations like Airports, Metro Rail, Refi neries, Mines  and large manufacturing units are also seeing the benefi ts of such private networks. Motorola  has vertical market specialists for these markets and we are building such networks for many such users currently.

What is your opinion regarding the National e-Governance Plan? Which are some of the mission mode projects (Police, Panchayats) and components (such as Common Service Centres, and SWAN) which Motorola’s is focusing on?

National e-Governance Plan is a very fast forward thinking on the part of Indian Government  to build an ICT infrastructure across the country in no time. Until mid 2005, e-Governance programmes in India were implemented individually in various states. Consequently, there  were regional imbalances in the development of e-Governance in the country. For overcoming  this, the Department of Information Technology (DIT) in October 2005, initiated  an integrated approach called the National e-Governance Plan for developing e-Governance uniformly across India. The NeGP included 27 mission mode projects and eight support  components to be implemented at different levels of government.

The concept of e-Governance is now a reality for Indian citizens. We are graduating from pilot   e-Governance projects to bigger Mission Mode projects. In this, the core strategy is to    move ahead in a systematic manner, and the approach is to achieve success step by step. We are learning from e-Governance examples worldwide; we also have our own experience in completing pilot projects successfully.

Motorola is committed to India’s NeGP programme and hence have been associated with both public and private organisations who are an integral part of this eco-system. Motorola has already implemented CARISMA network for Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Department by providing connectivity to 1100 villages in the 1st phase of implementation. We are very  excited and bullish about wireless broadband business in this segment in next 2-3 years and  are working with several key organisations on projects such as Common Service centres, Police and Panchayati Raj networks etc.

What are some of your plans to expand your market further in India?

Being pioneers in this fi eld, we believe in educating end users about the benefi ts of such  systems. We also work with government departments to get appropriate funds assigned to  such networks. We also do pilot projects so that users can touch and feel the systems, and  realise for themselves the huge benefi ts that these systems offer. We are also open to  customising our offerings for India, and developing India specifi c applications. While a slow  starter, the Government and Public Safety piece is emerging to be a very signifi cant business for us in India.

For the radio piece we are working with public safety agencies, railways and the armed forces. For the business critical piece we are working with the airports, refi neries and large manufacturing establishments.

For the WiBB (Wireless Broadband) piece, India is one of the key markets for Motorola –  (MotoWi4 – Unlicensed and WiMAX) and our focus in next few years will be to engage ourselves with the e-Governance initiatives, providing extensive broadband connectivity,  serving the connectivity needs of Rural India and serving the connectivity needs of Enterprise  segment. We would like to focus on enhancing our product portfolio to offer a price- performance solution, which is compatible to the Indian requirements. Being a global  company, we would strategise to bring in the advantage of ‘economies of scale’ and scope  quickly than our competitors for Indian customers. We are investing heavily in human  resources, expanding the channel structure to focus on key segments such as e-Governance,  video surveillance, educational networks, enterprise connectivity and municipal WiFi  networks.

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