Stoke CEO Vikash Varma says India expansion is on to meet global demand

Telecom Lead India: Stoke, mobile broadband developer, is planning to expand in India. Vikash Varma, president and CEO of Stoke, talks about the company’s India plans and trends in mobile broadband market.

Vikash Varma , CEO Stoke

On November 13, Stoke will be releasing a solution that will give operators ability to manage and monetize Wi-Fi connected subscribers. Stoke’s wireless offload gateway will open the door for operators to offset the escalating costs of capacity increases through revenues from advertising and other premium services. It will reduce traffic carrying costs by giving operators granular control over subscriber sessions, enabling them to balance traffic costs with traffic value.

Excerpts of an online interview:

What are your investment and expansion plan in Asia Pacific?

Stoke has subsidiary offices in Japan, India, South Korea and Singapore. Our Bangalore engineering facility is an integral part of Stoke’s technology development and we expect to continue recruiting and expanding to meet global demand.

What are the differences in demands of telecom operators in developed and developing markets?

Every market has its own characteristics – as an example, Europe having led the world in 3G data services then lagged behind the US in adopting LTE. That situation will change in 2013. In the US, the 3G experience was miserable, and LTE adoption was therefore accelerated.  In Asia the markets are sharply delineated from country to country, and market dynamics are dictated by variables including population density, per capita income, and existing infrastructure. Japan, Singapore and South Korea boast world-leading mobile broadband adoptions, while more developing markets are playing catch up.

What are the new trends in mobile broadband market?

LTE deployments will accelerate worldwide in 2013;  Europe has woken up to LTE, and in Latin America networks will leap-frog from 2G technology directly to 4G LTE.  W-Fi will be an ongoing force in the industry. Operators who have previously used Wi-Fi to merely cope with capacity crunches are now seeking to intelligently integrate Wi-Fi into their planning, provide a quality, secure user experience, and maintain their relationships with Wi-Fi attached subscribers. Initiatives such as the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Passpoint are still a few years away from broadspread deployment, and therefore technologies like Stoke’s Wi-Fi eXchange, which can be deployed today, become even more valuable.  Security in LTE is a growing concern given the vulnerabilities inherent in the all-IP network.  BYOD (bring your own device to work) is a rapidly accelerating trend. It is estimated that over 70 percent of all information workers worldwide are using their own mobile devices for work purposes, whether authorized or not.  This is creating a new set of security issues that organizations and operators worldwide and it is likely that regulatory conditions will be imposed that require operators to have more visibility and control of connected users.

What are your focus areas for innovation?

We continue to focus on developing solutions that allow mobile broadband operators to protect and enhance their existing investments in infrastructure.   Stoke recognize the need for fast paced innovation which will allow operators to resolve real-world problems at the speed of development of a start-up, rather than with the inertia of a legacy provider.  Stoke has created significant innovation in the Wi-Fi world, where disparate access technologies result in an implementation challenge for operators.  Stoke’s Wi-Fi eXchange has, and continues to, offer innovation to allow legacy Wi-Fi networks to integrate with mobile systems through standards based interfaces.  This integration allows Wi-Fi eXchange to uniquely offer security, visibility and control of end-user traffic to operations – leveraging legacy Wi-Fi technology – but treating it as another mobile radio access.  The Wi-Fi eXchange harnesses Stoke’s innovation to deliver market leading advantages without the need for disruptive network change outs.

What are your new products in the future?

Stoke is focused on developing gateway solutions for what we call the ‘Mobile Edge’ of cellular networks.  The Mobile Edge is the area between the radio network and the mobile core network.  Today Stoke offers two applications (Security eXchange and Wi-Fi eXchange) using the same hardware platform (SSX-3000).  Stoke will continue to develop and deliver gateway hardware and software solutions that address growing and emerging challenges for operators at this critical point in their services networks. Stoke offers solutions which offer simple, standards based implementations whilst allowing operators to address revolutionary network implementations immediately.
Wi-Fi eXchange is a gateway product that enables operators to maintain a commercial connection with mobile network subscribers when they are using a Wi-Fi access network.  We are announcing this week new capabilities for Wi-Fi eXchange that offers operators greater control of subscribers’ access and data traffic to ease access for users and control costs for operators.

Security eXchange addresses the growing need for secure aggregation of mobile traffic backhaul links to radio sites.  In the next few months our product roadmap includes expanding Security eXchange’s protection capabilities to include shielding mobile core network devices from attack.


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