Small Cell Tech Places Big Bets on Indian Telcos

Article By : Sufia Tippu

US based telecom firm Parallel Wireless is partnering with Indian telcos which plan to enhance indoor coverage by deploying solutions like small cells.

BENGALURU — US based telecom firm Parallel Wireless, a provider of the end-to-end software-based network solutions, ranging from 2G to 5G is partnering with Indian telcos which plan to enhance indoor coverage by deploying solutions like small cells.

Small cells are low-powered cellular radio access nodes that operate in licensed and unlicensed spectrum that have a range of 10 meters to a few km. They are "small" compared to a mobile macrocell, partly because they have a shorter range and partly because they typically handle fewer concurrent calls or sessions. They make best use of available spectrum by re-using the same frequencies many times within a geographical area

Parallel Wireless’ low cost, low footprint and virtualised solution helps service providers to deliver coverage by making deployments easy and affordable to install and maintain. Service providers can upgrade to any future technology without any additional hardware. It also improves network performance and efficiency while substantially reducing operating expenditure.

In India, Reliance Jio Infocomm has been deploying small cells with its exclusive partners Samsung and Airspan while Bharti Airtel and Voda Idea have started to focus on indoor coverage of late and are deploying small cells to improve network quality.

“We are currently providing our solutions to a leading telco in a metro circle. This will be extended to 10 cities this year. We are one of the two vendors with the second telco in India for small cells,” Kundan Das, Director APJC Business Development, Parallel Wireless, told in an Economic Times report. “The focus is shifting to quality, and telcos are going for small cells to add more capacity.”

The company is also looking to tap India’s enterprise segment with its connectivity solutions for tailored 4G network. Parallel Wireless has deployed such a solution with its partner in India, and is now looking for new opportunities, Das pointed out.

India is a volume-centric market and Parallel Wireless says profitability remains a challenge since it offers the lowest margins in the world. On the other hand, margins in Africa and Europe are better, it says.

Parallel Wireless has around 400 R&D employees based out of Pune and Bangalore development centres, which focus on software and equipment testing. “Around 90% of R&D is managed from our India centers. Apart from R&D, we manage other markets from India offices,” Das said in the report.

The company also has R&D centers in Israel and the US for radio development and design and virtualisation.

— Sufia Tippu is a freelance tech journalist based in India contributing to EE Times India.

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