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is not going to take off for the next two or three years"
UbiNetics, a PA Group Company, a world leader in next generation
communication technology, recently opened its third product
development center in Bangalore. Bjorn Krylander, chief
operation officer, UbiNetics, U.K, spoke with Network Magazine
and delineated the R&D focus of the center and its roadmap
for the Indian market
factors are prompting the move from 2G (GSM) to 2.5G (GPRS)
and eventually to 3G?
there is a lot of talk about 3G, the shift has to be a gradual
one. 3G is not going to take off for the next two or three
years. Hence, the evolution from 2G to 2.5G should be given
more focus, because the need to have data available on the
move is more in theory than in practice on 2G products.
To be truly able to use mobile data applications while on
the move, 2.5G is imperative.
applications are available on GSM as well. But that doesn't
really work, as it's too complex with circuit switched.
E-mail, messaging of various kinds, browsing and so forth,
will be available only on 2.5G and when you further move
up to 3G, you get the capability to do this with high speeds
of up to 384kbps data.
with 3G, 384kbps is going to be expensive because 3G's efficiency
is less than 25 percent higher than for GSM-GPRS. This means
that the cost of the end user is higher at the end of the
day. You need to install quite a bit of equipment to get
3G going and the best saving eventuallywhen the silicon
is taken out of the equationis about 20-25 percent
applications such as online video conferencing or watching
television online while sitting in your car are not going
to happen. What you could do though is get snippets of entertainment,
at least, in the foreseeable future.
products do you have for the Indian mobile data communication
UniNetics GA 100 is an accessory for a PDA. The GA 100 turns
you Palm handheld into a complete mobile phone and data
terminal to use on any GSM network worldwide. It is a dual
band GSM phone that uses the palm handheld as the user interface
and data storage device. All you need to do is plug in your
SIM card, load the software supplied and then connect to
your chosen GSM network.
the GC201 enables the user to send and receive e-mails,
faxes and SMS messages, as well as browse the Internet.
These are compatible with products from vendors like Compaq,
HP, and Cisco. They work effectively with every product
that takes a standard PCMCIA card. At this point in time
we are selling this product in Europe through distributors.
The market for these kind of devices will not be ripe until
integrated devices come in. We'll have global distributors
who will also sell these products in India in the latter
half of this year.
also see great potential in the Asian, particularly Southeast
Asian markets namely Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Thailand
you tell us about your test mobiles?
have a strong competency in test mobiles, which are B2B
products. TM 100, which is the first product we shipped
to our customers, enables network operators to test their
base stations. It tests Layers 1, 2 and 3 in the protocol
stacks. Layer 1 is where we have been most successful.
further plan to develop it into a test mobile for the network
operators. We have a new product called TM 200, aimed at
network infrastructure testing. This will enable network
operators to put them into fleet of cars that will drive
around and constantly measure the interference levels and
the noise levels in the network to determine the quality
of the network.
the market for TM 100 is in the range of 200-250 units,
it is sold to network infrastructure manufacturers in Europe,
America, Australia and Japan. It is possible that these
manufacturers would have shipped this product to their development
centers located elsewhere. The market for TM 200 is in the
range of 50,000 units.
200 is equally important in India to test drive the networks
for quality conscious operators who feel exposed on competitive
grounds for providing good network quality. TM 200 does
a solid job of mapping network quality continuously by measuring
how traffic patterns move and by plotting on the network
how congestion moves over time.
will be the focus of your Bangalore development center?
development center in Bangalore, which will work on the
core technology platform for 3G, has been set up with an
investment of Pound 3 million. The company will invest Pound
6 million in India and market its range of 3G devices in
the domestic market by 2002.
center will focus on providing solutions to the emerging
global mobile Internet market valued at $400 million. It
will develop products in the 3G wireless space involving
GSM, GPRS, UMTS and core IP solutions, which will interface
between GPRS and GPS technologies and develop the second
generation module for embedded product development. We are
now developing the cell stimulator for UMTS technology that
will be ready for launch by the end of 2002.
realized that TM 200 has a lot of sophisticated and novel
technology that we can sell as software
rather than as a product/hardware box.
Bangalore, we are working on developing a component
of the UMTS protocol stacks.
is your approximation about the Indian mobile data communication
has been very difficult for us to penetrate the Indian market,
as I think it is for any manufacturer in the mobile wireless
domain. The Indian market is characterized by very low dynamics.
The people here look out for the cheapest available product
and do not differentiate products based on quality.
Indian consumers, there is little status and emotional value
attached to mobile communication devices. In countries such
as Hong Kong and Taiwan, for instance, people must possess
the latest model. This is a marketer's dream. India is tougher,
as people don't value the newness of the products. Hence,
the market is difficult to assess. More often than not,
we end up competing on price, which makes it difficult to
communicate effectively with end users and create a market
where you don't get squeezed by the distribution channels
to give price concessions.
Murthy can be reached at email@example.com