UTStarcom: Offering Economical Solutions and Quenching Clients Needs

Tim Ti CEO UTStarcom | Telecom Solution Provider | business magazine in India

Tim Ti | CEO | UTStarcom

In an interview with Insights Success, Tim Ti, the CEO of UTStarcom have shared some insightful views and highlighted the influences made by their company to be the most prominent telecom solution provider, which focused on offering the most innovative, reliable and cost-effective communication products and solutions to the customers.
IS: Kindly brief us about the inception story of UTStarcom India Telecom Pvt. Ltd, followed by its overall journey till date.
UTStarcom was founded in 1991, and from the beginning the company was focused on offering the most innovative, reliable and cost-effective communication products and solutions to our customers. UTStarcom’s intelligent network solutions enable operators to offer more and better revenue generating services at lower capital and operating expense. Our extensive investment in R&D enables us to optimize our solutions for the complex requirements of 5G networks, cloud-based services and video streaming applications. Our products address the needs of the fastest growing functions within the network related to mobile backhaul, metro aggregation and broadband access.
UTStarcom began trading on NASDAQ since 2000 and has presence in many markets globally, India being one of the key international markets for the company. We have been associated with Tier 1 Telecom Operators in India since 2002. We have provided large volumes of our products and solutions and successfully executed multiple turnkey projects in India and SAARC region for many leading operators and service providers, and have been continuously providing management and maintenance services for their network.
IS: Please tell us something about your Founder/CEO – their professional journey, milestones, and mentionable quality traits that make them stand ahead in the industry.
Mr. Tim Ti has served as Chief Executive Officer and a Director of the Board of Directors of UTStarcom since 2016. Mr. Tim Ti has more than twenty years of business, management and technology expertise in telecom market. Prior to assuming the CEO and Director role, Mr. Tim Ti served various roles at UTStarcom, including Senior Vice-President of Advanced Network Architecture Technologies, Senior Vice-President of R&D, General Manager of the Broadband Business Unit, as well as CEO of Virtual Gateway Labs, Inc., a subsidiary of UTStarcom. Before joining UTStarcom, Mr. Tim Ti was the Director of Application & Marketing of Advanced Communication Devices Corporation. He received a Master of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Santa Clara University in 1993.
IS: Enlighten us about the vision and mission of UTStarcom India Telecom Pvt. Ltd?
We have been working in India with the mission to provide faster, more reliable and cost effective networks based on the latest technologies to enable internet proliferation and fast adoption of modern communication services across India.
IS: Tell us about the notable milestones or some notable awards/achievements the company has received so far.
Since its inception UTStarcom has been early adopter of latest technologies, driving innovation with launch of new solutions in the industry. UTStarcom was the first vendor of carrier-class IP based DSLAM/ MSAN, GEPON solution, MPLS-TP based integrated Metro Aggregation solution.
More recently, UTStarcom was among the few first to demonstrate the complete Segment Routing SRv6 solution and its interoperability during EANTC Interoperability Testing in Berlin in 2018.
In India, UTStarcom received Wi-Fi Leadership Awards 2018 as the ‘Most Promising Wi-Fi Brand’ at My India WiFi India Summit & Awards 2018 organized by DigiAnalysys in New Delhi last year.
IS: How are you fighting the challenges in terms of emerging market players and competitive costs?
The demand for modern telecommunications services and solutions is driving healthy competition, which in its turn ignites continuous modernization and the use of innovative and cost-effective solutions. Our continuous work on development and implementation of more efficient networking technologies, hardware and software design optimization, integration with SDN for increased automation of network operation helps to keep costs of our solutions at competitive level and facilitates TCO reduction for our customers. Speaking specifically about India, our commitment goes even further in order to meet price requirements of the market. We embrace the ‘Make in India’ campaign, and are happy to be partnering with local manufacturing firms to produce our equipment in India.
IS: What are your strategies to maintain hassle-free work environment and measures for employee development in your line of work?
Being a hi-tech company and a telecom solutions innovator, our biggest value clearly is in our expertise and knowledge, which is mostly accumulated in our people. We consider creating a comfortable hassle-free work environment and driving employees’ development as one of the important success factor for our company. The company has a dedicated quality department that is responsible for the EHS (Environment, Health, Safety) management that provides required safety trainings, arranges a free full health check every year etc. The company has a special training department (UTStarcom University) with a goal of providing various trainings to employees to enable professional growth and support career development opportunities. We have various training programs and courses: new employees on-job training, ‘mentor system’ training program for interns and new graduates to help them know the company’s culture, products and assume their job role smoothly and fast, professional trainings. The company regularly arranges professional knowledge sharing sessions and lectures from our own experts or guest lecturers, training programs to improve management skills.
IS: As an IT Solution Provider company, how have you managed to create a niche in your segment, in respect to the ever-growing competitive market?
UTStarcom has always been a company that drives innovation, not afraid to experiment and be the first to develop and/or integrate new technologies into our products and solutions. Just to bring a recent example, UTStarcom was the early adopter of the highly promising Segment Routing SRv6 technology, developing SkyFlux UAR routing platform and being among the few first to demonstrate the complete SRv6 solution including control and forwarding plane and its interoperability during EANTC Interoperability Testing in Berlin in 2018. This spirit of innovation enables us to continuously develop and bring to the market interesting competitive products. The other key part of our strategy – we always carefully listen to our customers, learn their requirements, needs of their business, and try to address them with our advanced yet cost-effective solutions. The combination of these two attitudes – constant innovation and attention to customers’ needs – is our strategy to stay competitive and deliver attractive offering to our existing and potential customers in today’s challenging and dynamic telecom market.
IS: The Wireless market has gained momentum over the past few years. How do you embrace this change and have managed to evolve as one of the market leaders in providing various wireless tech services to your clients? Also describe the other products and services that set you apart.
Wireless technologies really became ubiquitous in recent years driven by tremendous popularity of smart mobile devices and related bandwidth-hungry services. Wi-Fi and 4G networks are widely deployed and available in many places in India and around the globe, and now the emerging 5G mobile technology comes with promises of significant increase in performance, with support of many new use cases and with potential to re-shape entire industries and societies. UTStracom addresses the needs of the market in multiple aspects: offering efficient carrier grade wireless solutions, and providing advanced transport network infrastructure for wireless networks.
Our end-to-end carrier-grade Wi-Fi solution optimized for carrier wireless networks, public hotspots, enterprises and similar applications provides support of the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 and 802.11ax standards and includes various indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi access points, wireless controllers, a cloud-based wireless platform, strong network management. The solution was extensively used in large-scale hotspot deployments in many parts of India with some of key Indian telecom market players. UTStarcom received the ‘Most Promising Wi-Fi Brand’ Award last year, which demonstrates recognition of our technological leadership in wireless market.
Wireless networks generate a lot of traffic that needs to be transported between bases stations and the network core, and support variety of use cases and applications that set complex requirements to transport networks. Taking 5G as an example, it brings new and often challenging requirements related to transport network flexibility and service agility, very high bandwidth, huge network capacity and scalability, network slicing, extra low latency, highly accurate time synchronization, significantly improved cost efficiency, and many others.
UTStarcom addresses these challenges with our cutting-edge packet optical networking solutions based on the latest developments including Flex Ethernet (FlexE) lightweight TDM Ethernet transport, Segment Routing tunneling technology, and highly accurate time synchronization over packet implementation, all tightly integrated with Software Defined Networking (SDN) platform. All these advanced technologies are integrated as the UTStarcom’s SkyFlux next generation communications platform designed for performance, flexibility and efficiently. Combining benefits of the advanced solution architecture with the global network view and flexible SW nature of SDN-based control, the SkyFlux platform enables network and service transformation through network programmability, automation, and centralized intelligence, significantly simplifying operation and reducing overall network complexity. We believe that the platform provides a perfect solution for 4G/5G mobile network transport that can meet all their complex requirements.
IS: How do you define the essential elements of a successful business relationship in today’s complex business environment?
The key element without doubt is trust. Of course, a telecom/IT solution provider must be innovative to stay competitive, must deliver products that satisfy its customers and are future proof, products that facilitate success of customers’ business models and help them to meet their targets. Certainly, it is important to deliver products that are cost competitive (or bring significant added value to justify higher price). Services (and their quality) provided along with products are valued and important in customers’ decision-making process too. The list can be continued. However, all these points may lose their value without trust between a customer and a solution provider. We believe that trust is the key element in business relations – trust that builds over years of dedicated work, loyal partner-like attitude, trust to the vendor’s ability to listen, innovate and deliver, and of course through the track record of successful projects.
IS: What are your views on the emergence of tech-enabled startups, especially in the last decade?
Absolutely positive on many aspects. Startups generate many new ideas, non-conventional solutions to problems, revolutionary technologies, they drive innovation and in some cases shape entire industries. Take SDN as an example – many SDN solutions have their roots in early developments done in startups. Of course, such intensive innovation creates stronger competition, which definitely is a positive thing: it brings challenge to existing vendors and solution providers, drives technology evolution and helps to keep prices on reasonable level. And we should not forget that startups create many jobs, provide employment opportunity to young specialists, and pay taxes creating immediate positive effect on the economy.
IS: What are your future plans for the company? Where do you see the company in the years to come?
We are very much determined to continue focusing our main efforts on our key areas of expertise – packet optical networking solutions, broadband access and SDN. With coming of 5G and growing demand for IoT, M2M, Smart Cities, Cloud-based services and Data Center Interconnect, as well as in view of encouraging plans related to development of fiber and wireless infrastructure in our key international markets, we see a lot of opportunities for us in which we can apply our knowledge and spirit of innovation for the benefit of the industry, supporting smooth roll-outs of 5G and fast adoption of other new applications. At the same time, we are interested in exploring and continuing our investments into development of solutions for emerging market segments including IoT, smart retail, and intelligent network edge.

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