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Interview with Boudewijn Pesch, Group Vice President, JPAC, Oracle Communications

January 08, 2019
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Insight from Oracle on how India can benefit from Oracle’s software prowess in terms of telecom?

The telecoms industry has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, with new technologies and industry standards, all of which have forced operators to build a robust infrastructure to meet the changing needs of their customers.

The evolution of the network from 2G to 4G and with 5G services starting to come to market, operators have a good track record of investment, adoption and deployment.

The pace of change and development of new technologies present both an opportunity and a challenge for operators who need to invest in new technology-driven services to remain competitive, while continuing to support older-generation networks that many of their customers are content with.

Finding the right balance between investing in the new and maintaining and developing current offerings is essential for attracting and retaining customers and often means true innovation takes a back seat.

This is where Oracle and its cloud-based offerings can help.  Our solutions for telecom operators mean they can maintain legacy services while cost effectively innovating and developing new services. 5G presents a huge opportunity for operators but the explosion in bandwidth and opportunities for data services can’t come at the expense of core operator services like voice and text.  Oracle’s network slicing solutions means that  the different requirements can be managed effectively so all customers receive an excellent service regardless of whether they are making voice calls, sending SMS messages or streaming media content.

What are the key opportunities for Oracle Communications in India?

Oracle Communications makes products and solutions for communications service providers that help them modernise their core networks and build and launch new services for their customers. It covers core operational technologies like LTE, policy control and signalling management platforms for routing and selection, policy, security, as well as tools to help operators better manage their networks and services to understand their customers and deliver increased personalisation, such as OSS and BSS.

Building on our experience of working with CSPs, we have also developed tools and solutions to improve communications within enterprises. Investment in Unified Communications technologies has grown significantly in recent years and our experience working with CSPs means we are expertly placed to look at how other businesses from different industries can communicate more effectively.

The telecom sector is poised for change in the enterprise side. A big revolution that is going to come is the TDM to SIP transition which is enabling enterprises to redefine their networks.  We have seen it happen in America, Europe and even in Australia to a large extent where 60-70 per cent has already shifted and India isn’t far behind.

Could you share a few names of your clients in India?

Majority of the telcos in India are Oracle customers

Is the telecom infrastructure in India strong enough to capitalise on 5G technology when 4G capabilities are yet to be exploited?

There is a significant growing consumption of mobile broadband services in India on the back of a significant drop in average revenue per user (ARPU), hypercompetitive environment. So, the Indian telecom industry is significantly investing in networks to cater to the evolving digital needs of their retail and enterprise subscribers. The government is determined to launch 5G services by 2020 as it will help in accelerating the Indian government’s projects of Smart Cities to develop 100 smart cities in the country and the Digital India Mission to drive consumption of digital services in the country, since it enables internet of things (IoT) and machine-to-machine communications. In addition, 5G will see a growth in smart ecosystems that’s ready to ignite new innovations and highly customised services. This opens the door to new, customised business services that generate greater revenue.

Although developments are under way for commercial deployment of 5G, the 5G standards are far from formalised. In this backdrop the telcos will need to modernise and upgrade their network infrastructure to meet the demands of the future. The pace at which the 4G network is being utilised it is imperative that the telcos start transforming their networks now so they are ready to exploit the 5G networks for better revenue and customer delight. Regulatory and government support will help the telcos in their network transformation.

Kindly elaborate on the importance around cloud and 5G?

With 5G, the major benefit that consumers will be experiencing is more bandwidth and a faster delivery of more personalised services. This is where network slicing plays a key role and will drive a whole new market for operators. There are a lot of discussions on smart cities and self-driving cars and with 5G, operators will be working closely with smart city developers and car manufacturers to see how to put an IoT ecosystem together. The biggest feature of 5G is network slicing enabling CSPs to personalise network ‘slices’ to match the specific requirements of industry verticals and customer segments- this is a business game changer and will be absolutely critical as billions of ‘things’ get connected as operators will need to manage different requirements effectively so that all customers receive an excellent service.

The challenge that operators will be facing will be supporting older generation networks that customers are content with while at the same time investing in newer technologies to stay relevant in the market.

This is where Oracle’s cloud-based services can help where businesses can offload IT management so that they can focus on other priorities. What we are offering is a feature where telecoms operators can maintain legacy services while cost effectively innovating and developing new services.

The general understanding is that 5G and cloud are going to be very useful for enterprise.

What is Oracle’s role in the mobile number portability (MNP) space in India?

Oracle is the leader of MNP space in India. Many CSPs use our services in this space and we saw significant usage following the high number of people switching to Jio and then leaving when Jio started charging for its services.

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