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Niral Networks: Setting Mobile Network Operators Free from Vendor Lock-ins

Dr. Inder Gopal, Co-Founder & Chairman,Abhijit Chaudhary, Co-Founder & CEO

Abhijit Chaudhary

Co-Founder & CEO

The Mobile Network Operators have long lost the track of lakhs of devices deployed by OEMs within their network, majorly accounting to the proprietary hardware and software involved. Inevitably, they are up to their necks with the dire challenges of Vendor Lock-in. Today, while we are all set for the 5G deployment and denser networks, it’s a sure bet that the risk of vendor lock-in is going to increase multifold. Niral Networks, a Bangalore-based company with an office in the US, was born to relieve operators from facing the drastic challenges due to Vendor Lock-ins.

Niral Networks’ co-founding team possesses a cumulative experience of more than 70 man years in the networking industry. Their rich product experience spans across not only the segments like Telecom, Data Center, and Enterprise Services, but also the international markets including the US, India, Europe, Australia, Middle-East, and South-East Asia. CIO Insider is delighted to engage in an exclusive interaction with Dr. Inder Gopal (Co-Founder & Chairman), and Abhijit Chaudhary (Co-Founder & CEO), the men who spearhead the team.

In conversation with Dr. Inder Gopal, Co-Founder & Chairman, and Abhijit Chaudhary, Co-Founder & CEO, Niral Networks

Niral Networks’ team has a combined experience of more than 70 years in the Networking Industry. Where is the company positioned in the current industry?
We, at Niral Networks, aim to democratize 5G, Edge, and Cloud networking infrastructures by embracing a vendor agnostic, open source, web scale, and disaggregation approach, leveraging NiralOS product frameworks and off-the-shelf hardware. NiralOS is an open Network Operating System (NOS) that enables Mobile Operators, Cloud Providers and Internet Service Providers to transform their network infrastructure from vendor controlled to a vendor agnostic one. One of the biggest risks that operators

face is that of vendor lock-in caused by incumbent OEMs. NiralOS is integrated with off-the-shelf white box hardware to provide an alternative to products from Incumbent OEMs. We are headquartered in Bangalore and have a Sales Office in the US, and working with operators in India, Asia and Europe.

How would you describe the importance of your intervention in the market? Niral is well known for reducing Vendor Lock-in for Mobile Network Operators. What are the USPs that have helped the company establish such an intact reputation in the industry?
Today, the operators have no knowledge of or control over the tens of thousands of devices deployed by the OEMs within their network, as it contains proprietary hardware and software. Being dependent on such OEMs makes upgrades slower, increases cost, and hampers innovation.

The best approach to reduce the risk of vendor lockin is to embrace open solution. Niral's Networking products are developed using open source software and curating the software to make it carrier-grade, feature compliant, interoperable and scalable. We work with the Open Source community, Open Hardware community, and Open Innovation Group in the development of Open Network Operating System.

The denser network would require devices from more vendors leading to further risk of vendor lock-in; this is precisely where we come in

Tell us about your products and the kind of thought process & innovations that power your flagship offerings? How do those products make life easier for your customers?
Our portfolio of products includes 5G DCSG, Edge DPI/PCEF, and Central SDN Controller. Our products are needed for uses cases like Autonomous Driving in Public 5G, Industrial IOT in Private 5G, AR/VR based Banking/Heath-care services for rural 5G. The 5G DCSG is a MPLS VPN Gateway with throughput between 60 Gbps to 300 Gbps deployed in mid-haul and back-haul with transport service termination to guarantee real-time QOE for applications using Traffic Engineering & Transport Slicing, and creation of Virtual Network Service for application. DPI/PCEF is deployed in Edge Cloud for Application Classification of Subscriber traffic for

billing, Cybersecurity threat detection & DDOS mitigation and Subscriber based Policy Enforcements like Traffic Shaping, Parental Control, and Lawful Interception. The Central SDN Controller provides centralized orchestration, automation, network topology discovery, network slicing, management, zero touch provisioning and diagnostics.

In the last decade, few notable factors that have emerged are the Open Source Community becoming matured, availability of multiple White box option, emergence of SDN and NFV, industry realization of the risk of vendor lock-in, and its movement towards Open solution. Hyper-scalers like AWS, Facebook, and Google were the early adopters of open and white box solution. Mobile Operators and Internet Service Providers have traditionally been dependent on a handful of OEMs, and are increasingly shifting to openness. With the emergence of 5G and open community like TIP, OCP, O-RAN, the drive towards openness is now a necessity and NiralOS is rightly positioned to partner in this Network Transformation.

How would you describe your growth and success lately?
Niral is currently working with around 12 operators globally. We recently opened our Marketing Office in the US. A recent NASSCOM report mentions Niral Networks as a key 5G technology vendor from India, while we have also been chosen as a partner by RBI controlled IDRBT for 5G related use-cases for the Banking sector. We are leading the derivation of India-centric 5G open source strategy for Transport as part of TSDSI. Niral is a member of TIP and a global NOS provider for DCSG.

What are the opportunities that you foresee in the industry?
According to Markets and Markets, the 5G Fixed Wireless Access market is expected to be worth $46.4 billion by 2026, while a report by Grand View Research says that the Edge Computing market will be worth $43.4 Billion by 2027. It is predicted that 5G Networks need to be 10x denser than 4G Networks, especially with respect to the 5G Access and Edge. The denser network would require devices from more vendors leading to further risk of vendor lock-in; this is precisely where we come in. When NiralOS-based products are deployed, it frees up the operator from any type of vendor lock-in, creating unparalleled opportunities, including competitive pricing, more flexibility, faster innovation, and cost-effective scaling, which all ultimately have the potential to significantly lower both CAPEX and OPEX.

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