MD & CEO
The endeavor of the Government of India to provide seamless internet connectivity across rural India has led to it forming partnerships with innovative tech companies. One such company is M2M Cybernetics which has developed technological solutions to solve the lack of electricity and shortage of skilled manpower in rural India. This value-added systems integration company is offering solar-powered Wi-Fi hotspots bundled with pre-configured mesh firmware for ease of operations without the need for an expert. CIO Insider got in touch with Shivkumar Jagannath, MD, and CEO of M2M cybernetics to understand the nuance of their journey to bring internet connectivity to remote corners of the country.
When it comes to rural India, what are the challenges in bringing seamless internet connectivity and how is M2M Cybernetics addressing that?
In rural India, there are two fundamental challenges: lack of reliable electricity and shortage of skilled manpower. The concept of a low-cost access solution that also managed to solve issues of intermittent electricity and the non-reliance on a trained technical workforce in villages was very appealing to the Government. This gave birth to the ‘Wi-Fi Choupal’ project of the Govt of India. Under the project, M2M Cybernetics offered their patented solar-powered Wi-Fi hotspots and worked in tandem with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) in some villages of the Faridabad District. Subsequently, we were awarded projects to deploy our Wi- Fi hotspots in many parts of the country. Today, we have deployed over 75,000 solar-powered Wi-Fi hotspots across rural India as part of the Wi-Fi Choupal Program.
In addition, we have developed a unique ‘Hotspot in a Box’ solution for helping PDOAs deploy PDOs as part of the PMWANI initiative of the Government of India. We are proud to announce that, recently, M2M Cybernetics has been selected as one of the three winners in the BIF Connectivity Accelerator for this solution.
Could you please share insight on M2M Cybernetics’ services in the telecom and ICT sector and the challenges faced by your clients?
Usually, our clients are more concerned about performance, maintainability, reliability, and future-proof capacity than actual underlying technologies. Hence, we offer the clients the option of managed services as standalone Wi-Fi solutions may not meet their expectations and match up to rigorous standards. Under managed services, we take care of project management and planning, RF and MW Engineering, network optimization, network implementation, and training. It is our practice to propose best- in-class and breed solutions that include hardware and software components. Our combined experience and knowledge base have been accrued over a multitude of Wi-Fi deployments.
We help our clients set up indoor enterprise Wi-Fi networks and also help organizations install city-wide public Wi-Fi networks. To ensure that we provide the best to our clients, we are not aligned with any OEM but work with the best in the market. Our own Solar Power Supply Units cater to the needs of customers deploying Wi-Fi networks in rural areas to overcome the challenges of non-reliable electricity supply. On the WAN side, we design and deploy SD-WAN links for customers who have remote sites and offices. We stand with the clients and provide high-quality, dependable Wi-Fi networks that enable the clients to focus on their respective core competencies.
Working in rural India can present certain additional challenges apart from the usual one of electricity and skilled resources. Could you cite an example where the M2M team faced a particular problem and the proposed workaround?
There is just the right one: our work for Railtel Corporation of India.
It is a central public sector undertaking (PSU) under the ministry of railways. The PSU was working to deploy a state-ofthe- art SDWAN (software-defined wide area network) for one of the largest subsidiaries of another PSU - Coal India Limited. The SDWAN endpoints - routers and switches - need to be installed at over 250 remote sites in the coal mine, spanning 1000 sq km. Since coal is highly conductive, providing good quality earthing to sensitive networking equipment was the biggest challenge. The PSU consulted us and we helped them deploy a special type of chemical compound in the chemical earthing pits. The desired resistivity values were met and internet connectivity was established inside the mine.
We have developed innovative solutions that help the Government of India achieve the vision of digital inclusion for the citizens of Rural India
What does the future look like for M2M Cybernetics?
There are two important developments that we are working on. One of them includes deploying private 5G networks for clients that have large infrastructures like large manufacturing organizations or Mines. We are seeing a need arising for dedicated highspeed private mobile networks to cater to voice and IoT requirements from these clients. Another one is related to advanced video surveillance systems. These have elements of video analytics and face recognition systems overlaid on a standard CCTV-based video surveillance network.
We have been working on Wi-Fi and other network technologies since our inception and our experts are experienced enough to design and deploy indoor as well as city-wide public Wi-Fi networks, SD-WAN, and complex networking solutions as per the client's needs.