Why did Jio Ac­quire a Global Tele­com Soft­warer Com­pany?

Has Jio scored a one up with the Radisys ac­qui­si­tion?

PCQuest - - CONTENTS - Ed Nair | edn@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in

Reliance In­dus­tries an­nounced its plans to ac­quire Radisys, a US-based tele­com soft­ware com­pany in a deal val­ued around $70 M re­port­edly. Radisys serves ser­vice providers and tele­com equip­ment ven­dors by pro­vid­ing dis­rup­tive open-cen­tric soft­ware, hard­ware and ser­vice ca­pa­bil­i­ties that en­able the mi­gra­tion to next-gen­er­a­tion net­work topolo­gies.

This ac­qui­si­tion fits squarely into Reliance Jio’s strat­egy to em­brace open plat­forms and be­come a dis­ag­gre­gated tele­com player.

Strate­gic Ac­qui­si­tion

RIL has been in­vest­ing in many ar­eas such as spec­trum, con­tent, tow­ers, tech start-ups, e- commerce plat­forms, and more. The Radisys ac­qui­si­tion is some­what dif­fer­ent and there­fore strate­gic. It is dif­fer­ent be­cause this is the first in­vest­ment in a global soft­ware com­pany that works at the core of tele­com tech. The ac­qui­si­tion bol­sters Jio’s ca­pa­bil­ity to lead the tele­com busi­ness in sync with the in­dus­try trends that de­ter­mine fu­ture com­pet­i­tive­ness.

Radisys has been a part­ner to most Tier-1 equip­ment ven­dors and ser­vice providers. It helps bet­ter uti­liza­tion of spec­trum and ac­cel­er­ates the mi­gra­tion to next- gen­er­a­tion stan­dards. The com­pany claims to have de­liv­ered to its cus­tomers 40-50% CAPEX sav­ings and 60% re­cur­ring OPEX sav­ings over the


Radisys has been a key sup­plier to Jio in the past. It could be in­ferred from Radisys’ fi­nan­cial state­ments that the com­pany has al­ready done busi­ness worth over $30M with Jio. The ac­qui­si­tion for $70 M is, there­fore, a steal as far as RIL is con­cerned.

The press re­lease quoted Akash Ambani, Di­rec­tor of Reliance Jio, say­ing, “The ac­qui­si­tion com­ple­ments our work to­wards soft­ware- cen­tric dis­ag­gre­gated net­works and plat­forms, en­hanc­ing the value to cus­tomers across con­sumer and en­ter­prise seg­ments.” This ac­qui­si­tion fur­ther ac­cel­er­ates Jio’s global in­no­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy lead­er­ship in the ar­eas of 5G, IOT and open source ar­chi­tec­ture adop­tion, stated Akash Ambani.

Dis­ag­gre­ga­tion and Open Plat­forms

Reliance Jio has been an ad­vo­cate of open plat­forms on not only the ra­dio side, but also for op­ti­cal and IP plat­forms. At the tech­nol­ogy level, Jio counts three key chal­lenges all of which di­rectly im­pacts busi­ness: in­ter­faces, per­cep­tion and sys­tems in­te­gra­tion. At In­dia Dig­i­tal Open Sum­mit, or­ga­nized by Jio with OSF and Cisco in Jan­uary, one of Jio’s spokesper­sons said that those who don’t stay ahead of the de­vel­op­ment curve by pro­vid­ing open in­ter­faces will not be able to keep up with it or other large providers.

The big­gest chal­lenge faced by tele­com op­er­a­tors glob­ally is that of in­creas­ing OTT com­pe­ti­tion cou­pled with data de­mand from sub­scribers. In­no­va­tion and cost sav­ings are re­quired to com­pete ef­fec­tively. Tel­cos have to in­vest in cloud and vir­tu­al­iza­tion, open plat­forms, DevOps, dis­ag­gre­ga­tion and edge com­put­ing.

One may call it the in­va­sion of IT into tele­com. The tele­com in­dus­try con­tin­ues to ad­vance its ef­forts to re-in­vent the tele­com net­work with IT-style tech­nolo­gies and ar­chi­tec­tures, in­clud­ing gen­eral-pur­pose hard­ware, open in­ter­faces/APIs, dis­ag­gre­ga­tion, SDN, and vir­tu­al­iza­tion.

Look­ing at what AT&T and Ver­i­zon have been do­ing, there is a clear trend in the tele­com in­dus­try to dis­ag­gre­gate net­works. Separat­ing phys­i­cal for­ward­ing and trans­mis­sion from net­work con­trol or, more gen­er­ally, any phys­i­cal net­work func­tion from the soft­ware run­ning on it, al­lows a ser­vice provider to select the best tech­nol­ogy for each net­work do­main eas­ily.

With the Radisys ac­qui­si­tion, Jio has scored a one up on its com­peti­tors in beef­ing up its tech­nol­ogy ca­pa­bil­ity.

L-R: Mathew Oom­men, Reliance Jio: Brian Bron­son, Radisys; Aruna Sun­darara­jan, Sec­re­tary, DoT; Adrian Ionel, Mi­ran­tis; Akash Ambani, Reliance Jio; Manoj Modi, Reliance Jio at In­dia Open Dig­i­tal Sum­mit 2018

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