SAP Leonardo allows rapid, scalable transformation

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SAP announced the creation of a digital ecosystem with the SAP Leonardo portfolio, exclusively for India. SAP Leonardo is a digital innovation system for rapid, scalable transformation. It includes analytics, blockchain, machine learning, IoT, Big Data, data intelligence and SAP cloud platform using design thinking services. Bill McDermott, CEO, SAP, says, “SAP Leonardo will unlock the full potential of the intelligent enterprise.”

img_20161202_031418Deb Deep Sengupta, President and MD, SAP India Subcontinent, said, there are four traits that set the top 100 global companies from the rest, and have a digital mindset. These traits are:

* The companies are focused on true transformation.
* The companies invest in bimodal architecture.
* The companies transform customers facing function first.
* The companies are talent driven.

The mantra for achieving digitization is by intelligently connecting people, things and businesses to drive the outcome. Sengupta cited examples of Jio, Tata Group and Trenitalia, Italy. He added: “IoT sensors report issues in real-time for Trenitalia. The maintenance costs are down 8-10 percent using this process. SAP is also driving the IoT revolution. We plan to invest Euro 2 billion in IoT till 2020.”

Sengupta outlined the the architecture for doing digital today, from S/4 HANA to SAP Leonardo, on to SAP IoT Connect 365, and on to the Intelligent Edge.

SAP Leonardo delivers new capabilities
Neeraj Athalye, Head – S/4HANA I GST Adoption I Leonardo, SAP Indian Subcontinent, said: “Leonardo is a digital innovation system. The innovation needs to result in tangible benefits. A company also needs to integrate.”

SAP Leonardo delivers new capabilities in machine learning, IoT, Big Data, and analytics. It is open, extendable and ready to be woven into every facet of your business. SAP Leonardo also allows for rapid implementation and seamless scaling the existing SAP platform and application portfolio.

There are all the ingredients to make an innovative business process. Customers solve all common problems. All of the components have been added to the accelerator. An accelerator can be used to redirect maintenance needs, optimizing inventory levels, and ensure consistent temperatures with pre-set tolerances.

SAP IoT Connect 365
SAP IoT Connect 365 is a managed, cloud-based service that simplifies IoT connectivity for enterprises, government and people. The solution makes it easy for enterprises to connect their IoT devices and gateways over cellular networks, through a web GUI or a web service API. A part of the Leonardo technical services, this solution was first launched at SAPPHIRE, and represents tremendous opportunity for mobile operators.

Through SAP IoT Connect 365, SAP provides full connectivity management ranging from provisioning and activating SIM cards to defining usage thresholds for devices or groups of devices to streamline their data consumption. By using a neutral SIM card, enterprises will be able to forego lock-ins to a single mobile operator and benefit from the use of the radio network of operators that will be capable of giving the best price/performance for their needs.

What sets this solution apart is the simple business model, ease of integration, better management of connection costs and a mobile data service that leverages technologies to their best possible use. The solution has a number of customers in trial and one of the first ones to use it is a global automotive customer that is utilizing the SAP IoT Connect 365 to connect their test fleets.

SAP IoT Connect 365, delivers choice and flexibility to enterprises, laying the foundation for a well-connected, cost-efficient, and secure environment.

Athalye added: “We make the enterprises connect their devices over the cellular network. Data must be encrypted and secure. We follow all of the global norms of data security. Data does not understand boundaries and should be governed. SAP has stringent norms for data center approvals.

“Our core is also GST compliant. Customers are filing their GST returns as per the Indian norms. On-premise ERP, digital compliance and GSTN are integrated. In fact, every SAP customer is GST compliant.”

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StanChart redefining banking with connected thinking

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Standard Chartered Bank is developing the power of the interconnected strategy. StanChart is also redefining banking with connected thinking. Digital is combining with technology to trigger different touch points. Standard Chartered Bank also opened its new Global Business Services (GBC) center in Bangalore, early this month.

Kwan Chee Sun, Head, Standard Chartered Global Services, India, said that the fourth industrial revolution — the digital age — blurs the lines between digital, biological, etc. The bulk of the increase will happen in the technology space. He referred to Smile To Pay, a service offered by KFC and AliPay started in China.

Gorriz
Dr. Michael Gorriz, Group CIO, said that Standard Chartered had been discussing the future of banking for ages. How will StanChart look like 10 years down the road?

He said: “Five years ago, smartphones became pervasive and changed the face of banking. Banking is about basic services — store, lend and borrow money. We are now experiencing a world of digitised money. Technology has broken down the barriers. In future, digital will be dominant in bank-customer relations. Data and analytics will help banks to serve customers better in the future. We are now investing US$ 3 billion in improving our global footprint.

“We partner with fintech companies and incorporate them into our atmosphere. We have also built up an accelerator lab. Currently, we have a challenge with legacy systems. In the future, we would like an adaptive landscape. Investment in APIs is critical.”

Trends in banking
Designed for SMEs, Standard Chartered’s Straight2Bank (S2B) is a fully-integrated Internet banking platform that allows you to perform all your transaction and information.

Talking about technology trends in banking, he said: “The Straight2Bank app has an interface for commercial and corporate customers. Digital payments are engrained into the interface. There will be data-driven business models. Big Data can help us gaining insights into the real needs of customers. Next, fraud detection is important for us. Also, blockchain is helpful in bringing transparency into banking.”

Gorriz noted that StanChart currently operates in 68 countries. The learnings among the different markets are exchanged quickly. StanChart supports over 9 million customers today in retail banking.

James Dolphin, CIO, Retail, Private Banking and Wealth Management, said that banks create and convey trust, adding: “Cavalier people generally write the best software. We are now competing for software engineering talent.” He added that banks had been mistrustful to open source for a very long time. That scenario was changing.

Dolphin noted that the current scenario of software development resembled the waterfall vs. agile development of software. Digital product owners tell the team what needs to be done. The team of engineers have two weeks to change their minds, if needed. “We are now looking at areas where the engineers and software developers can run speed, or, be on a run-on condition. Our engineers should have the ability to create something very quickly.”

In a presentation made via video, Tom Siebel, CEO, C3 IoT, said that IoT is about the sensoring of value chains. Smart, connected products are today transforming companies. The C3 IoT platform allows the company to collect and analyze data.

Focus on data
Shameek Kundu, chief data officer, Standard Chartered Bank, during a chat, said: “Data will be very important. We are working on expanding the credit transaction data. We are also working toward building a safer infrastructure for the bank. In Singapore, we have combined geospatial infrastructure with real-time offers. This exercise is building on the data asset.”

Regarding the smaller traders, he said: “We can bring small manufacturers into our stream. Having access to good data will help us in expanding credit. Technology can play a big role in all of this. Our strengths are the advantage of investing in technology and improving on our footprint.”

As for blockchain, he noted: “Blockchain is a way to build trust. We have invested in Ripple, and worked with AIG. Our priority remains to upgrading on services and technology to serve customers.” Standard Chartered Bank made a strategic investment in Ripple, a leading distributed ledger company, last September. The investment will accelerate the Bank’s digitisation agenda in distributed ledger technology as it explores new ways of adding value to its clients and the industry.

He continued: “We actually went open source in banking. As the customers’ needs evolve, there will be a need to invest in technology. We recognize that we have to work at the customers’ requirements and then, meeting them. Technology companies are also building specific solutions to support for our services.”

Engineering analytics gaining momentum in India: MathWorks

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MathWorks, founded 1984, is a global software company with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. Engineers and scientists worldwide rely on products – MATLAB, the language of technical computing, is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numeric computation.
Simulink is a graphical environment for simulation and Model-Based Design of multidomain dynamic and embedded systems.

MathWorks produces nearly 100 additional products for specialized tasks such as data analysis, image processing, control design, wireless and radar.

K RaoKishore Rao, MD of MathWorks India, said that engineering analytics is gaining momentum in India. The data analytics space is actually very strong. There is an increased use of embedded analytics. Customers want to have analytics happening on the cloud as well as on the device.

“A recent trend is to have data analytics integrated with simulation; to take the insight from data and build better and smarter products using simulation. MathWorks is uniquely positioned as we have an integrated solution with data analytics and model-based design. With this you are really driving more efficiency into your products and business. This is happening across the industry, eg, automotive, industrial automation. Some companies are also talking of having a digital twin.

“Today, engineers are creating smarter and more efficient products. Also, they are focusing on predictive maintenance to improve the reliability of the products. Therefore, you are able to drive the maintenance cycles well in advance. With the growing number of sensors on products, predictive maintenance is a key focus for companies to leverage the data from the sensors. Some also call this sensor analytics.

MathWorks has a strong focus towards academia, and works with engineering institutes across India. Rao added: “Today, over 1,200+ engineering colleges in India use our products. These include IITs, NIITs, and several state engineering colleges.”

MathWorks offers a ‘Campus Wide license’ to institutes which opens up access to the tools to all faculty and students in classrooms, labs, across engineering, science, business, and other disciplines to use MATLAB and Simulink for data analytics, model-based design of embedded and cyber-physical systems, and many other technology areas. This will enable improved analysis and problem-solving skills through hands-on, project-based learning; improved understanding of underlying concepts and theory; and leading-edge academic research using the same tools widely used in industry.

“We have an integrated approach to academia. One aspect is providing access to tools. This is significantly enhanced through the campus wide license. The other important aspect is to help in the usage of tools by professors and students. A team of technical evangelists works with professors to help them incorporate tools into the courses, and also drives student interest through project work and student competitions.

“One challenge we hear is that software tools that are bought by colleges do not get used sometimes. As the ‘campus wide license’ is an annual term license, it keeps people honest on both sides (institute and software supplier) as the license needs to be renewed annually and will not be renewed if the usage is not good.

“We have been promoting the campus wide license for the last three years, and it has really picked up over the last 12 months. Today we have over 50 institutes with the campus wide license and this would grow to 90 by the end of 2017. We have a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) of having 500+ institutes on campus license model by 2020.

Tools for embedded vision
MathWorks also provides software tools for embedded vision. Rao said: “Vision is a huge area of interest. We are providing tools such as Computer Vision, which use deep learning techniques to gather insight from image and video data.

“Image and video applications are being leveraged by all industries today – automotive, aerospace, medical, consumer electronics, industrial equipment verticals. This is critical in safety critical applications such as ADAS or automated driving. We can share an example from Scania where they used MathWorks tools for a safety critical application such as Advanced Emergency Braking System which involved sensor fusion of both radar and camera sensor data.”

How can machine builders prepare for IIoT? Rao said: “We are doing things in Industry 4.0! Data analytics and sensor analytics are focus areas for us. We are working with several industrial equipment customers on predictive maintenance.

“We also work with start-ups, and are seeing a huge interest. We have a start-up program, where our products are offered at a big discount. A lot of the start-ups that we are working with are in medical devices, aerospace and automotive “We provide a combination of our products and services for the start-ups. The value from MATLAB and Simulink is immense.

The go-to-market strategy is three-pronged:
* Commercial customers – we work with the commercial customers in areas of sensor analytics and Model based design to help them develop better products

* Academic Institutions – working with engineers. Making sure they are trained on industry standard tools like MATLAB

* Start-up-ups – where we offer them special price, services and mentorship.

This March, MathWorks announced the release 2017a of the MATLAB and Simulink Product Families. Rao said: “We have a new release 2017b, that will be out in October. The release adds new important deep learning capabilities that simplify how engineers, researchers, and other domain experts design, train, and deploy models.”

ROHM intros Trench SiC MosFET to make renewable energy affordable

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ROHM India has introduced the Trench SiC MosFET technology to make renewable energy affordable. The next step will be innovations for the local automotive industry.

Power electronics is now enabling renewable energy harvesting. Increasing rural-electrification, adoption of home appliances, industrialization and population is bringing more pressure on the grid, and the power generation capacity.

image025India will be the largest importer of coal, natural gas and oil by 2040. The focus on renewable energy has gone up, leading to increased generation and decreased losses. Smart grid will enhance the efficient distribution of power.

Simlife Electric Pvt Ltd introduced the GAN2000, India’s first hybrid battery backed grid-tie solar power generation system, a combination of grid-tie and off-grid. It is designed, developed and manufactured in India. Power electronics reduces the cost/kW, and enables higher switching frequencies, magnetics and SiC.

Making energy affordable
Energy can be made affordable and achieved by extraction of power from multiple sources that are efficient and cost effective. The power conversion is made more efficient and is always available. It is also less resource intense. ROHM recommends SiC Trench MosFETs for high-power applications.

Rohm’s 3G SiC Trench MOS improves performance. The SiC MosFET is a near ideal switch resulting in low overall losses. Using the SiC reduces the overall system cost. High reliability of SiC improves system reliability.Rohm1

As for the future trends for wide-band gap (WBG) semiconductors, 10X growth is expected for WBG products by 2023! Dominant space:s are the SiC = 600V and GaN = 600V. Major growth areas are EV/HEV, chargers, solar, industrial drives.

Applications such as solar/wind power, industrial equipment, EV/HEV, large-scale data center servers, and home electronics/AC benefit from the use of SiC.

ROHM Semiconductor India Pvt Ltd (RSI) a subsidiary of ROHM Co. Ltd, Kyoto, Japan, announced an array of power solutions like SiC, IGBT, and gate drivers, for improving the power conversion efficiency. These products are intended to meet the harsh condition of India’s rapidly growing power infrastructure.

The improvement in size and efficiency owing to the adoption of the power solutions from RSI, like gate drivers, trench SiC MOSFETs, and IGBTs, play a vital role in enabling small scale and distributed power plants for tapping solar and wind energy. A ~2 percent increase in efficiency along with the reduced cooling requirements can bring in a considerable cost saving for the end customers, besides improving the reliability of the power converters.

This will help bridge the demand supply gap, which is “more from less, for more”, thus reaching more people. The distributed power generation, besides reducing a huge burden on our grid, reduces the transmission and distribution losses.

ROHM’s power solutions include a broad range of power devices, IGBT, SiC, besides Silicon MOSFET and gate drivers designed to achieve improved efficiency in high power applications.

Britto Edward Victor, Design Centre-head, ROHM Semiconductor India, said: “Our focus is on home appliances, industrial power and automotive. We now work on power conditioners. We released the silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFET. It is also used in rural electrification. Rohm Semiconductor India has a design center in Bangalore. The design center has an Application Engineering group to provide technical support to India customers.”

Artificial Machines enables smart product innovation with strategic partnerships with Mentor Graphics and Qualcomm

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There are a lot of things in electronics manufacturing happening across, in China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. When that activity in electronics manufacturing happens in India, it is a matter of great pride for the country. The company bringing pride to India is the Pune-based Artificial Machines.

Artificial Machines was founded in April 2008. Headquartered in Pune, India, it has sales office on Wall Street, New York, USA. It is focusing on IoT, smart machine design, and artificial intelligence (AI).

Haze
Manish Buttan, CEO, Artificial Machines, said: “We are one of the oldest IoT companies. We work with automotive and electronics companies. The HAZE platform was developed in 2015. We are focused on converting traders to makers. We are designing over 20 product lines in consumer electronics.

“We are currently building the TV platform for Videocon and the Videocon Aryabot 2 AC, which is in progress right now. For Eureka Forbes, we have done a few water purifiers. We are also working on a few products for Tata Housing including a door phone, smart lock, smart camera, fire safety, and several products for Godrej & Boyce.

“We are a design house, and designers at the PCB level. We make everything in India. The idea is to develop the IP. We can connect anything built on the HAZE platform. For example, a video doorphone has built-in VoIP. We are lowering the automation costs as well.”

What is HAZE?
Artificial Machines has developed the HAZE platform. The HAZE platform is not just an IoT platform. It is a smart product innovation platform.

“We will develop artificial intelligence for cars by 2018. We will also build the entire electronics for the cars,” Buttan added.

Artificial Machines has partnered some of the largest OEMs in India that have licensed the HAZE platform to develop a range of products in India. Buttan said: “As of today, we have five licensees – Eureka Forbes, Godrej & Boyce. Tata Housing, Usha International, and Videocon. Their products will soon show the ‘Powered by HAZE’ Logo.

“All HAZE Platform Intellectual Property belongs to Artificial Machines. Our customers are promoting the platform by adding our logo to their products. The HAZE License requires that the primary components be purchased through us. The HAZE IP is free to license for customers and we charge a subsidized customization fee for modify HAZE for their requirements. We are heading into a $20-$50 million turnover over the next five years.

“PCBs are being made in India. Also, in China. With Usha, we are doing smart fans, air coolers and lighting brands. With Godrej & Boyce we are doing refrigerators, ACs, smart washing machines, etc.

Over the years, Artificial Machines has participated in developing products such as the Mahindra XUV BlueSense App, Savant home automation System, Vidyo conference platform, Lifeshield home security system, Brookstone grill monitoring app / baby monitor app, and the Videocon Aryabot AC, which are in the market.

Products to be launched include a few water purifiers, smart refrigerator, and next-gen air conditioners. Products that will be completing this year include air coolers, smart lighting, Android TVs, Android refrigerators, video door phones, smart locks, smart cameras, fire safety equipment, and washing machines.

Roles of Mentor Graphics and Qualcomm
What role does Mentor Graphics play in all of this? Mentor Graphics came into the picture, and gave Artificial Machines their tools. Mentor PCB development and validation process involves over 75 processes of reliability. Mentor Graphics has strategically partnered with Artificial Machines and invested EDA tools worth $15 million.

This makes Artificial Machines have the world’s best design tools in PCB design, embedded, automotive, chip design, and manufacturing validation.

Buttan said: “We have a strategic partnership with Mentor Graphics. All of the tools are available to traders. We also have an agreement with Qualcomm. Each OEM can innovate their ideas.”

Qualcomm has been very supportive with the Snapdragon chip licensing to Artificial Machines. Microchip is a premium partner for low-and mid-segment processors. All of these give Artificial Machines some of the widest range of processors and platforms to work with – Bare Metal, Linux and Android. This makes it easy for customers to build Android hardware with HAZE licensing.

Artificial Machines also works closely with several large global manufacturers. Having in-house Valor manufacturing validation tools allows it to provide pre-validated hardware for manufacturing.

Thanks to Mentor Graphics for introducing me to this company.

SAP India launches ‘code unnati’ for digital literacy

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SAP India recently collaborated with ITC and L&T Public Charitable Trust to launch ‘code unnati’ a multi-year, collaborative, digital literacy and software skills development initiative in India.

code unnati has six partners – NASSCOM Foundation, HOPE Foundation, Pratham InfoTech Foundation, Agasatya International Foundation, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, and UNDP India.The initiative aims to achieve the UN’s sustainable goals of: no poverty, quality education, decent work and economic growth, and partnerships for the goals.

In the pilot phase till next year, the initiative will focus on the rural areas of Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, as well as the urban disadvantaged demographies in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Vizag and Hyderabad.

Innovations through collaboration – Making of a digital literate society
There was a panel discussion, titled ‘Innovations through collaboration – Making of a digital literate society’. Shrikant Sinha, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said that the collaborations themselves need to be scaled up.

Dr. Madhav Chavan, founder, Pratham Foundation, said that optimum results have to be defined. He urged for digital literacy to go mobile.

Clement Chauvet, chief-skills and business development, UNDP India, noted that by using Project Disha, UNDP has managed to put 1 million girls/women to have some opportunity in life. He added that there is a need to bridge the information gap. There is also a need to ensure that the recepients were digitally literate as well. There should be a practical, blended element to spread literacy.

Ms Gayatri Mishra Oleti, senior deputy GM and head Operations, L&T Public Charitable Trust, said there are many ITC applications and all had benefitted. The question is: how do we reach out to the last mile people?There is a need to partner with the local governments.

Dr. Asheesh Ambasta, exective VP and head of Social Investments, ITC Ltd, said that multi-stakeholder partnerships are of importance. According to him, the learning with multiple partners is how do you align them with the set of project priorities? There is a need to identify roles for each partner, and set up a mechanism to review the program regularly.

Krishnan Chatterjee, head of marketing, SAP Indian Sub-continent, added that there is something empowering about technology. It can reduce inefficiencies and waste. He cited the example of Kolkata’s Maatir Manush, a program where they photograph 3-5 million farmers regarding crop queries.

img_20161202_031418Deb Deep Dasgupta, president and MD, SAP Indian Sub-continent, said that digital India promises that India will go on to become the world’s third-largest digital economy by 2025-30. However, lot of work needs to be done as only 10 percent of the Indian population is digitally literate.

He said that code unnati is India’s first-ever corporate-citizen initiative. These are:
a) Provide employable software IT skills for youth and women
b) Digital literacy for all
c) Provide employment to at least 50 percent of the youth trained
d) Digtal enablement of the Gram Panchayats.

How digital empowerment will make India more inclusive
There was a second panel discussion on ‘How digital empowerment will make India more inclusive.’

CT Sadanandan, VP Corporate Services & CSR, Tata Communications, said that awareness and the availability of an infrastructure should be present. Stakeholders at corporate India can make a difference.

Ms Kabi Sharman, India head, Pyxera Global, said corporate skills and knowledge are not being shared by the NGOs. There is also a need to understand people’s lives better by interacting with the local population.

Ajith Basu, Agasathya International Foundation, pointed out two key questions, namely, who are we going to teach, and how can we enable a child to learn! The idea is to inspire learning. There must be more collaborative learning.

Ian Correa, board member, HOPE Foundation, said there is a need to focus on the journey itself. And, if possible, to acquire special skills. The poor people of India require opportunities. Together, we can plug the gaps.

Mahantesh GK, CEO, Samarthanam Trust for Disabled, said the acceptance of being disabled is itself key. Technology and opportunity go together. Digital revolution has already brought massive progress. More needs to be done.

What India needs to do in satellite broadband?

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On the World Telecom Day, 2017, the Broadband India Forum hosted the seminar, “Innovations, Technology & Satcom for Big Data, Broadband and Digital India”, in New Delhi.

Let’s start by looking at the primary growth drivers of communication satellites. According to TV Ramachandran, president, Broadband India Forum (BIF), as of Dec. 31, 2015, there were 1,381 total operational satellites, globally.

India has totally 124 operational satellites, which is only 9 percent of the global satellite population. India, which is the target focus of ‘The next Billion in Broadband has less than 5 percent of the total communication satellites globally (33, compared to ~700 globally). Out of 33 satellites, only 28 are dedicated communication satellites (and predominantly in the less-efficient C and Ku bands).

All this puts India far below the global norms on satellite communications. India needs large private investment to augment satellite capacity for a Digital India.

The top 10 economies use broadband from communication satellites. There are millions of subscribers in USA, Canada, West Europe, Australia, Japan, Brazil, etc. Satellite broadband is delivering 50Mbps speeds with today’s technology. Private satellite companies are set to deliver 1Gbps in near future.
BIF
(L to R): TV Ramachandran, president of BIF, Mrs. Aruna Sundarajan,  Secretary, MeitY and DoT, Shyamal Ghosh, Chairman emeritus, BIF, N Sivasailam, Addl. Secretary, Telecom, Dept. of Telecom, and Anil Prakash, secretary general, BIF.

Ubiquitous satellite broadband 
Satellite broadband is ubiquitous. It eliminates ROW issues which plague wired buildouts. It is available everywhere, even on planes, ships, trains and in homes and villages.

As per ITU, India ranks 131 out of 155 globally on fixed broadband penetration and at 155 out of 187 countries for mobile broadband. It has a huge urban/rural digital divide.
Rural broadband is at only 6 percent against urban broadband at 50 percent.

Terrestrial broadband technologies involve difficult rollout, prohibitive costs and long timeframes to deploy. Satellite broadband can be achieved almost on tap. The use of satellite for broadband becomes absolutely imperative.

India lagging behind in satellite broadband
All communication satellites in India belong only to ISRO. These are built on older, less efficient C and Ku-band technologies. Globally, private companies are investing in communication satellites.

Government and agencies are focusing on space exploration, new space technology, military and defence applications. Commercial communications have been opened to open markets. Built with new Ka-band technology is enabling speeds of up to 100Mbps/1 Gbps.

About $5 billion+ of investment has been committed to communication satellites
globally from Intelsat, Inmarsat, ViaSat, Hughes, SpaceX, OneWeb. India has currently no private investment in communication satellites.

Globally, satcom is competitive to terrestrial technologies for rural and remote areas. However, it lags behind in India due to inadequate capacity /availability, lack of use of new innovations and technologies, as well as higher costs. In India, costs of satellite broadband are much higher than that in the US.

Bringing costs on par with global norms
What can be done to reduce the costs and bring it on par with global norms? Satcoms can offer HTS with Ka-band, so that the cost/Gb could reduce by a factor of 7 along with multiple-fold increase in capacity. There should be relaxation of outdated technical specifications. There is a need to free up the market and allow open competition between international and domestic satellite operators.

There should be an increase in the term period of the contract between the satellite
operators and service providers from three years to at least 10-15 years to enjoy economies of scale. Future new applications and new markets would require at least 100x more capacity than current applications.

What India should do?
So, what does India needs to do? First, commercial communications through satellite needs to be maximised for Digital India and for bridging rural-digital divide. There is a need to facilitate private investment and manufacture in communication satellites. India also need s a direct investment potential of $2 billion+.

There is a need to leverage the expert institutions like DoT and TRAI for managing policies and implementation of the same , as in the case of terrestrial broadband technologies. At least $2-5 billion FDI expected by 2025 if private investment is permitted.

The current policy permits liberalization. Open Sky policy has been there since 2000. However, procedures and processes have to facilitate implementation of Open Sky policy in letter and spirit. Private participation is needed to boost India’s satellite program.

There is a need to approve long-pending proposals/applications for setting up
domestic satellites. As of now, 17 years of liberalized Satcom could have added at least 400 million rural broadband customers today, besides connecting all 250,000
GPs (of Bharat Net ) and given a significant boost to the rural economy.

Use satellites for Internet
In his welcome address, Shyamal Ghosh, IAS (Retd), Emeritus chairman of Broadband India Forum, stated that: “Use of satellite for providing Internet services is perhaps the only way to cover the entire country. Its importance of meeting the objectives of Digital India and for providing ‘Broadband to All’ by 2020 cannot be overstated.”

Ghosh pointed out that while India, through the Department of Space and ISRO has made rapid strides in the areas of manufacture and launch of indigenous satellites and launch vehicles for satellites, we have a long way to go to meet the communication requirements of our country in an affordable, always available and accessible-to-all manner. While the global satellite industry is pegged at around 600 communication satellites, India has only a handful of them – all of which belong to ISRO.

BIF warmly congratulated ISRO for yet another feather in its resplendent cap, and celebrating the launch of the GSAT-9. It is a superb testimony to ISRO’s capabilities in satellite technology.