ITI to roll out 5G tech by 2020: CMD

ITI Chairman and Managing Director K Alagesan

State-owned telecom equipment maker ITI Ltd is gearing up to launch base station equipment to support the roll-out of 5G technology in the next one year.

The Bengaluru-based company has partnered with over 60 startups and other overseas technology partners to introduce the 5G technology, according to K Alagesan, ITI Chairman and Managing Director.

"The company is likely to build infrastructure suitable for 5G products by the end of 2020. We will start with a base station for 5G deployment," Alagesan told DH.

Of the many areas that 5G is rumoured to be used, the company CMD said that there are 60 plus startups focussing on healthcare, agriculture, and smart-cities and ITI has given them the basic infrastructure to operate.

Alagesan also said the 5G ecosystem is yet to be evolved in the country and ITI is looking at how other players are panning out their strategies to exploit the business opportunity. 

The company has recently announced the launch of four telecom testing centres in Bengaluru to examine telecom products as well as equipment and ensure security in digital communications.

The testing centres consist of four labs namely EMI (Electromagnetic Interference)/EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) Lab, Safety Lab, Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) Lab, which will check the radiation emitted by any electronic gadget and certify it of the same, and Security lab.

The labs will facilitate mandatory testing of imported and indigenous telecom equipment in India, R M Agarwal, Director, Marketing, ITI Limited said. 

When asked about the company's hiring strategy, Alagesan said, during a recent recruitment drive, about 60 engineers had been selected out of the 22,000 applicants who had appeared for the interview.

"We have put in place right hiring strategy. The retirement age now increased to 60 and the hiring pace is slow. We have also invited some retired employees and those who left the organisation to come back and work on special projects," he said.  

Speaking about Bharat Net project, under government's ambitious scheme Digital India, to supply high-speed broadband and connectivity, the CMD explained that the company has connected 40,000 out of 1.25 lakh villages panchayats in India with high-speed optical fibre network in Phase-1. This has generated revenue worth Rs 300 crore. He expects Phase-2 to be more fruitful with TelanganaNet, KeralaNet, and JharkhandNet added to the list. 

The PSU had recently reported a net loss of Rs 13.58 crore during Q3 of fiscal 2019 as against of Rs 76.24 crore in the same period last fiscal, showing a decline of 82.2% y-o-y basis as per the data available on BSE. 

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ITI to roll out 5G tech by 2020: CMD

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