“The major challenge we have is working on a live network
with no disturbance to the services for the end users and
zero revenue loss for our customer.”
—Manoj Sharma, PMP, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Gurgaon, India
With more than 900 million
mobile phone subscriptions, India
ranks as the second-largest telecom market in the world, trailing only China. Though a
controversy involving the government’s allocation of 2G licenses prompted some telecoms
to cut spending or exit the Indian market altogether, the sector rebounded last year when
foreign investors were permitted to have a 100
percent stake in the market. This increased competition has spurred a flurry of projects focused
on improving subscriber quality.
But to accommodate this project surge, the sector will need to invest in training and retaining
technical talent. “Staffing remains a real challenge
with India’s largely young and inexperienced workforce,” Dr. Green says.
Call it telecom 2.0, as nearly every major player
launches an upgrade project. India-based Uninor
this year started a INR6 billion project to improve
its coverage, while India’s largest provider, Bharti
Airtel, will undertake a INR40 billion initiative in
the northwestern state of Punjab.
The five-year initiative includes laying
10,000 kilometers ( 6,214 miles) of fiber-
optic cable. And the Indian government has a
INR200 billion telecom project in the works with
an even bigger scope: provide high-quality broad-
band access to all villages by 2020.
As part of the overarching modernization trend,
Nokia is working on a project this year to replace
old equipment, which will help to reduce opera-
tional costs for customers and provide compat-
ibility with the most current technology. And the
team has to do it all without disrupting anyone.
“The major challenge we have is working on
a live network with no disturbance to the services for the end users and zero revenue loss for
our customer,” says Manoj Sharma, PMP, zonal
project manager, Nokia Solutions and Networks,
To get the job done, the team had to thoroughly
test the upgrade processes before they could go
live. It also had to secure and train skilled team
members—capable technicians both familiar with
the new technology and resourceful when it came
to compatibility issues, Mr. Sharma says.