Telstra launches innovation centres in India to solve challenges in AI, IoT

SEP 01, 2021

N T Arunkumar

One of the facilities in Bengaluru will specialise in creating an end-to-end 4G/5G environment where testing of 4G/5G mobile handsets and IoT devices of various OEMs will be done

Australian telecom giant Telstra has launched two new Innovation and Capabilities Centres (ICC) in Pune and Hyderabad and a Network and Product Engineering Lab in Bengaluru. This is a strategic move that aligns with Telstra’s vision towards harnessing talent, driving excellence in innovation, building future skills, and nurturing new capabilities. These state of the art facilities with a combined size of over 100,000 sq. ft will become hubs of innovation and will further strengthen Telstra’s efforts to diversify talent acquisition in India.

Working at Telstra’s Innovation and Capability Centres in India will provide technologists an exciting opportunity of using technology, automation, and innovation to try and solve the world’s biggest technological challenges in areas such as Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and other new-age technologies.

“At Telstra India, our ambition is to be an epicenter of talent and innovation that drives Telstra’s digitally connected future,” said N T Arunkumar, MD and country head (India) and head of innovation - Telstra India. “Our expansion in India reiterates our commitment to empower an innovative ecosystem by providing relevant opportunities to our people, co-creating with partners to bring alive cutting edge technology and solutions for our businesses and customers.”

ICC in Hyderabad will act as a hub of specialised high-performance software engineering (HPSE). It will encompass a deep technology consumer software engineering team that will directly innovate for the customers of Telstra. Similarly, the Pune centre will have a blend of operations and technology teams who will focus on enhancing Telstra’s existing domain expertise in the telecom business. They will also work on developing application software engineering to enable business process change.

With the launch of its engineering lab in Bengaluru, Telstra becomes one of the first multinational telecom companies to open a Network and Product Engineering Lab in India to accelerate innovation in next-gen mobile technology testing. The state of the art 8500 sq. ft lab will specialise in creating an end-to-end 4G and 5G environment where testing of 4G/5G mobile handsets and IoT devices of various Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will take place. Some of the other focus areas of the lab include testing devices on 5G network in a virtual environment, developing software for smart devices, testing multiple devices among others.

“Our expansion puts us in a very strong position to deliver on our ambitions, enable our employees to have the flexibility to work from any of the three locations of their choice and further strengthen the resilience of our operations,” said Arunkumar.

Telstra opened its first ‘Innovation and Capability Centre’ (ICC) in Bengaluru in July 2019 to bring together talented Telstra and partner employees to focus on innovation, experimentation and process improvements.

Two years since the inception of the Bengaluru ICC, the company has employed software network professionals who are part of the futuristic technology innovations at Telstra. The new ICCs in Pune and Hyderabad will be the second and third centres after Bengaluru.

Telstra is headquartered in Australia with points of presence across 22 other countries.

It is offering a full range of communications services and competing in all telecommunications markets. In Australia, it provides 18.8 million retail mobile services, 3.8 million retail fixed bundles and standalone data services and 960,000 retail fixed standalone voice services.

On the back of a successful 5G Innovation Centre in Gold Coast, Australia, for testing next-generation mobile technologies to support early commercial deployment of 5G, Arunkumar said Telstra has expanded its capabilities to India with a state-of-the-art Network and Product Engineering Lab in Bengaluru. “Here we would test mobile 4G and 5G handsets and IoT devices of various Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).”

The lab is a strategic investment supporting the Network and IT infrastructures across Australia and India. It involves working with teams based in Australia, the Philippines, and other countries around the world.

Over the last 12-15 months, Telstra has been building core network and product engineering capabilities by investing in more than 250 people in India. They would be involved in various core engineering capability build-up, various IoT use case development and broadening the engineering capabilities across the entire domain. “In the coming months, we will be doubling our capability and also plan to leverage the partner ecosystem for joint collaboration,” said Arunkumar.

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