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Telsima Announces Complete Mobile WiMax Solution

WiMax solutions provider Telsima released a veritable flood of announcements this week, introducing a complete line of 802.16e mobile WiMax equipment and a new WiMax network architecture called TRUFLE ASN—and also announcing that its contracts with leading operators in India will result in the company shipping a total of 10,000 WiMax base stations and 100,000 subscriber stations in 2007.


Company vice president of strategic partnerships Chandra Tekwani contends, “What we are announcing is the emergence of a global leader in mobile communications.”


Telsima is focused on emerging markets, and in particular on India, where wireless is the only option for broadband Internet—and there’s a real demand. “The broadband penetration is 0.2 percent: There are 2.5 million broadband users in a population of 1.2 billion people,” Tekwani says.


And the same is true of mobile access: Tekwani says the current mobile penetration in India is 16.6 percent, with 8 million new subscribers added in July alone. That said, it’s a very price-sensitive market—Tekwani claims broadband Internet access can’t be sold in India for more than $10 a month. “So whoever wants to be successful in that market has to have a very low price point,” he says.


Thanks in part to Telsima’s ability to meet that very low price point, Tekwani says, the company has secured a $100 million contract with India’s Reliance Communications to deploy WiMax in 200 cities by 2009, and a $120 million contract with Tata-VSNL to deploy in 250 cities by 2009. It’s those contracts, along with others in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, Tekwani says, that will result in Telsima’s announced shipment of 10,000 base stations and 100,000 subscriber stations by the end of the year.


Telsima’s new line of mobile WiMax products includes PC Cards, indoor and outdoor modems, pico and macro base stations, ASN (Access Service Network) gateways and ASN control systems. “This essentially completes the portfolio of offerings to the service providers in terms of what they need to enable mobile WiMax,” Tekwani says.


A key strength of Telsima’s WiMax offering is the fact that its dual-mode base stations can support both 802.16d fixed WiMax and 802.16e mobile WiMax in a single unit. “We go all the way from fixed WiMax broadband to nomadic WiMax broadband to portable WiMax broadband and metro mobility—and then complete mobility,” Tekwani says.


And the TRUFLE ASN architecture, Tekwani says, allows operators to manage both fixed and mobile WiMax users on a single network. “It enables the service provider to have a mix-and-match of how many subscribers have to be mobile and how many subscribers have to be fixed,” he says.


Tekwani says the combination of the TRUFLE ASN architecture and the dual-mode base stations also gives providers a low cost of entry. “The company focus is really on enabling service providers to be able to invest a small amount to start offering fixed broadband, then go to nomadic and metro mobility and increase through incremental investment as they go on taking on more subscribers,” he says.


Throughout that process, Tekwani says, Telsima’s solutions are always going to be cheaper than the other options out there. “At the end, when you have a complete solution, even though the service provider is doing incremental investment in it, it’s still cheaper than a complete legacy mobile system that you would get from the vendors out there which have been traditionally strong in the mobile carrier environment,” he says.


And company CTO Burcak Beser notes that the incremental investment isn’t just about price—it’s also about allowing providers to keep their options open. “The important thing for us is to offer a scalable solution so that our customer does not have to make any decisions regarding their future needs… they just look at what they need today,” he says. “Make your decision, deploy your equipment, and in the future, you’ll see that mobility is around and your network is ready—and you don’t have to make any changes.”


Still, Beser acknowledges that for emerging markets, price remains a crucial factor. “We’re not saying that you have to invest everything at once, and because of this, we have big wins in India,” he says. “And for us, India is a very good example—because if you are successful in India, you can be successful in any emerging market.”


Telsima will be showcasing its entire product portfolio next week at WiMax World in Chicago.