Mavenir has been in India since 2006 with over 1100 employees and much of its innovation is derived from this market. The company today works with over 250 mobile operators globally and is now bringing its end-to-end virtualised solutions to operators in India. During its recent participation at the India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2018, Ms. Beenish, Editor, WhiteNote, spoke to President & CEO of Mavenir, Mr. Pardeep Kohli. Below are the excerpts of the interesting announcements and live demonstrations, which Mavenir made at the event. While sharing details of the announcements Mr. Kohli also shared the current Indian landscape…
Editor: How exactly are you redefining mobile network economics?
Mr. Kohli: It’s simple. Here is what is happening:
The mobile industry is at a tipping point. In the 5G era, status quo network economics are unsustainable. The cost-per-bit models and network architectures that dictated 4G strategies will not support 5G use cases. The next mobile technology generation will unleash peak data rates of multi-gigabits per second, transmitting significantly higher volumes of data, as well as supporting a myriad of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and new services for massive machine communications and ultra-reliable low latency applications.
The sheer volume and variety of 5G data traffic will break today’s cost-per-bit models as current infrastructure cannot cost-effectively scale to meet demand nor can it provide the flexibility to allow rapid introduction of revenue-generating services. Future demand on mobile networks requires the web-scale capabilities exemplified by new and innovative rivals like Amazon, Facebook and Google. Even now, mobile operators are under pressure to meet capacity demand and grow service revenue while containing costs in highly competitive services markets. According to GSMA, time spent on mobile devices has trebled over the last five years, but mobile operators control only 9% of the services consumed. Operators must also contend with supporting the growing numbers of low-power, connected devices, which are estimated will reach 20.4 billion by 2020. Importantly, the decisions they make today for upgrading 4G networks to cope with current demand will ultimately affect their ability to compete, and even survive, in the 5G era.
In response to this, Mavenir has created the industry’s only 100% software, network of end-to-end virtualised solutions portfolio. Software and Virtualization are the keys to success in a 5G world. Within this portfolio, we have provided solutions and strategies for Cost Reduction – enabling operators to leverage software and virtualization to dramatically reduce cost in the network, as well as creating agility, automation and efficiency. Example is virtualised Radio Access Network (RAN) or virtualised Media Breakout Controller (MBC). Revenue Generation – enabling operators to quickly and easily launch new services to generate revenue, ideally leveraging existing network investments. Example is RCS Business Messaging and Multi-ID (virtualizing the phone number).
Revenue Protection – after reducing cost and generating revenues, operators need to protect that revenue with advance AI-based machine learning security and fraud management.
Editor: Considering your offerings in 5G, what has been the highlight of your participation at the IMC 2018?
Mr. Kohli: As the communications industry moves toward 5G, Mavenir partners with Intel to provide a 5G reference design for the supply chain of integrators, ODMs, OEMs, TEMs and ISVs, allowing them to develop commercial solutions for deployment by CSPs on an open architecture that is scalable and flexible. The set of pre-integrated end-to-end virtualised solutions include virtualised radio access network (vRAN) stack based on the Intel FlexRAN reference architecture featuring Mavenir’s virtualized evolved packet core (vEPC)– See It in Action: Experience the reference design in a 4K video streaming smart stadium demo at Intel’s IMC stand.
Over the top (OTT) messaging applications—such as WhatsApp, LINE, Facebook Messenger or Telegram—decimated the MNO’s peer-to-peer (P2P) messaging revenue and are now coming after their application-to-person (A2P) revenue using the same strategy of providing a richer multimedia messaging experience to the consumer but, this time, targeting brands and aggregators looking to provide a better customer experience. With new business-oriented services such as WhatsApp for Business, LINE Partner, or Facebook Messenger for Business, OTTs are seeing an opportunity to capture lucrative A2P traffic as users move from plain text into rich messaging.
Mavenir’s RCS Business Messaging solution allows MNOs to protect their growing A2P revenue by providing a fast and simple solution to implement RCS messaging into the wireless network, from the cloud, with full combability with GSMA Universal Profile clients—such as Google Android Messages or Samsung Messages—and facilitating the integration of enablers such as chatbots, mobile payments and other messaging based applications to enable MNOs and aggregators to strategically position themselves as key players in the business-to-consumer (B2C) messaging market. — See It in Action: Experience a live demo of the customer experience with Brands as Aggregators, enterprises and MNOs monetize RCS.
There is a lot of hype about 5G but many operators need to monetize their 4G network investments. Since most deployments of 4G Radio are based on proprietary hardware models, that has been difficult. Mavenir is focused on virtualising the RAN. Utilizing our NFV and MANO platform called CloudRange, Mavenir is enables operators to take advantage of radio slicing for enterprise, IoT or other specific use cases. Based on Mavenir’s active participation in open RAN initiatives, this utilizes the first xRAN Controller for today’s 4G networks that is adaptive and responsive to evolving infrastructure needs. — See It in Action: Experience creation of various network slices on 4G with varying characteristics.
For 5G, Mavenir has designed our 5G Core using a fully cloud-native/web-scale approach. It’s a superior architecture enabling rapid-scaling and faster launch of new services. It’s ready for integration with 5G NR and supports a wide variety of use cases around eMBB, URLLC and M-IOT. See it in Action: Mavenir’s demonstration of packet core supports all the migration options from 4G to 5G while also supporting integrated 4G/5G functions.
Editor: How do you see the challenges and opportunities in the Indian market?
Mr. Kohli: Indian market has its unique challenges but is also experiencing some of the same difficulties that operators around the world are seeing. How to reduce costs in the network? How to support massive data growth? How to generate new revenues? How to compete as technology changes?
We believe that the fundamental key to this is virtualization. As the industry’s only 100% software, cloud-native end-to-end virualised solutions (network software) provider, we see that once this turn is in motion, many of the challenges actually become new opportunities.
Editor: What is your go-to-market strategy? Direct / through service providers?
Mr. Kohli: Mavenir works with Communications Service Providers directly. That group is expanding as the market for mobile communications expands into areas like fixed wireless, cable, satellite, etc. We are also a systems integrator for many operators as we provide end-to-end solutions.