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This can be TCS’ ‘desi plan’ for telecom trade

NEW DELHI: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest software company, plans to tap business opportunities in the private telecom space with indigenous next-gen technology after its successful 4G trials and expected commercial rollout for the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL), a top official said.

“The opportunity (in the private sector) is there to qualify the stack for other telecom operators, which is a natural progression of growing the business,” N Ganapathy Subramaniamchief operating officer, TCS, told ET.

The top executive also said that the indigenous stack integrated with the BSNL network is world-class, robust and conforms to the approved global standards. “We are focused at present on manufacturing the required equipment quantities in India and deploying it for BSNL.”

TCS’s entry into the is business for private-sector clients will pit the software major against multinational vendors such as Finnish Nokia and Swedish Ericsson that have Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea as their top customers.

south korean Samsung supplies telecom gear to billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio as a part of exclusive arrangement between the two.

Last year, Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel entered into an alliance with TCS to run a pilot and deploy the indigenous solution as part of the telco’s 5G rollout strategy in the country.

TCS is at present in discussions with BSNL on various aspects of the 4G rollout including commercial proposals. “They are expected to conclude shortly. We have already geared ourselves to deploy the first batch of equipment before the end of this year,” Subramaniam said.

He added that the two companies are working to complete the rollout between 18-24 months.

“We are also working on the 5G aspects with our partners, and I am pleased with the progress we are making,” Subramaniam said.

He added said that the 5G NSA (non-standalone) core and the radios are undergoing final laboratory tests, and the TCS-backed consortium is geared to start equipment deployment before the end of this year.

In September last year, Bharti Airtel had also selected Bengaluru-based Tejas Networks for the telco’s optical network expansion, to support 5G backhaul, edge and broadband applications to meet growing bandwidth consumption by subscribers.

The majority stake in Sanjay Nayak-headed Tejas Networks has now been acquired by the parent of TCS, the Tata group.

“The Tata group has taken a view to incubate this business as a separate entity and invested in Tejas Networks. The focus since then has been to help orchestrate the indigenous technology and ensure that the components embedded are trusted as determined by the government,” the top TCS executive said.

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