The WiMAX Forum today announced the addition of Tata Communications, one of the world’s largest telecommunications providers, as a new member to its board of directors. Prateek Pashine, COO of Tata Communications’ retail broadband unit, will serve as the representative to the WiMAX Forum board.
“Electing Tata to the board demonstrates the WiMAX Forum’s commitment to the Indian market and signifies the company’s importance to the WiMAX ecosystem worldwide,” said Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum. “As one of the leading global internet and voice operators, Tata Communications has demonstrated its confidence that WiMAX is the leading 4G technology, and they have articulated their plans to bring broadband services to consumers in India through WiMAX.”
Prateek Pashine, chief operating officer of the retail broadband unit of Tata Communications, has been with the Tata group since 1995. Pashine was responsible for setting up Tata Communications Lanka (formerly VSNL Lanka) operations and served as director on its board for two years. He has worked on various committees set up by the government of India to explore options on broadband initiatives with other countries. He has worked in various industries such as hospitality, software, real estate and telecom equipment and services. Pashine was the recipient of the prestigious Fullbright scholarship of US and attended the Fulbright-CII fellowship programme for leadership in management at the Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA, in 2006. He is also currently the chair of the wireless broadband alliance which is a global body involved in the expansion of roaming data services.
“The strong representation by global operators to the WiMAX Forum board shows how evolved the WiMAX ecosystem has become,” added Pashine. “Various researches have predicted that India will play an important role in the development of the global WiMAX ecosystem, and we will bring that perspective to the forefront within the forum. Markets like India have unique product and business model needs which we expect would lead the way for other markets and operators around the world.”
India has a huge opportunity for a rapid growth of internet penetration. Currently broadband penetration in India is just 6.22 million out of the more than one billion population. Tata Communications plans to bring broadband services to homes and small businesses around the country to meet that need.
“I believe that India can soon be the largest market for WiMAX worldwide,” said Pashine. “Our goal is to develop a profitable business model and offer a range of affordable devices and services to our customers. As a member of the WiMax Forum board, Tata Communications can encourage accelerated development of low-cost WiMAX technologies products.”
Currently, Tata Communications is an active member of the WiMAX Forum India chapter and holds leadership positions in three of the chapter’s four working groups. Tata Communications also serves as the driving force for opening a certification lab in India and hopes to establish a live network test bed using its network in the near future.
Tata Communications recently announced the launch of its 'One world, One account' service, a unique offering which allows all Tata Indicom broadband customers to access high-speed internet roaming in over 160 countries using their same account. This service is aimed at creating an end-to-end internet service for home as well as small business users. The convenience of a single bill and access through multiple technologies helps give a seamless experience to users. This package also comes with various bundled services targeted at the home and small business user.
Other members of the WiMAX Forum board include: Airspan Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, Alvarion, Aperto Networks, British Telecom, Clearwire Corporation, Comcast Cable, Fujitsu, Huawei Technologies, information and communications research laboratories at Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute, Intel Corporation, KDDI, KT, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sprint, and ZTE.
The WiMAX Forum’s membership base represents a thriving WiMAX ecosystem which supports the more than 472 WiMAX network deployments in 139 countries. A complete list of members is available online at http://www.wimaxforum.org/about/. The WiMAX Forum is the worldwide consortium focused on global adoption of WiMAX and chartered to establish certification processes that achieve interoperability, publish technical specifications based on recognised standards, promote the technology and pursue a favorable regulatory environment.