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Kerlink and Tata building world’s largest LoRaWan network in India

Steve Rogerson
September 28, 2017
French company Kerlink is partnering with Tata Communciations in India to build what they claim will be the world’s largest LoRaWan network.
The rollout, which will bring a cost-and-energy-efficient IoT network to more than 400 million people in nearly 2000 cities and communities across India, will include more than 10,000 Kerlink Wirnet iBTS Compact stations. Kerlink has formed a subsidiary based in Chennai, India, to coordinate the rollout.
Kerlink, which recently announced a partnership to roll out a LoRaWan network across Argentina, is ramping up its global supply chain to meet demand for its equipment and network design, installation and operation services worldwide.
The Kerlink subsidiary, which will oversee the company’s continued growth in India, is headed by Girish Dadheech, vice president of technology, customer and partner engagement. Prior to joining Kerlink, Dadheech served as chief technology officer for Astellia India, a provider of subscriber intelligence to improve customer experience at mobile telecoms operators. He also co-founded a technology-consulting firm in London, primarily dealing in fraud analytics.
“The internet of things will have enthusiastic reception in India in the major application categories of transport, agriculture, asset tracking, logistics, smart cities, smart homes and security and safety,” said Dadheech. “These are being driven by strong and dynamic programmes led by the state and private companies.”
His professional career has been divided between Europe and India, where he worked for companies such as Telefonica, Hughes, Astellia, Orange and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. Dadheech also has been associated with the IoT for more than ten years, including work on a pilot for smart metering in London.
He said the IoT would help boost India’s economy in a variety of ways, such as supporting infrastructure projects and creating demand for innovative services and applications.
“The LoRaWan network, powered by Kerlink stations, can be deployed simply and will quickly begin delivering the efficient, two-way connectivity throughout Tata Communications’ targeted nationwide coverage areas,” he said.
“Girish Dadheech is an excellent addition to our teams in India and Asia,” said Kerlink CEO William Gouesbet. “He has been in the forefront of technology innovation, with extensive experience especially in digital transformation, evolution of exponential data and customer-experience segments. He has broad and deep exposure to virtualisation, cloud computing and big data analytics. Moreover, his cross-border and diverse experience in leading and managing technological transformations will help Kerlink India meet its strategic objectives. Girish will help devise synergies bridging Kerlink capabilities and customer expectations, while helping to grow our footprint throughout the region.

Kerlink's subsidiary in Chennai is close to Flex, an end-to-end supply chain services company, selected earlier this year by Kerlink to manufacture its stations locally. Production for the India network deployment began this summer on a new manufacturing line.
“This expansion into India underscores Kerlink’s commitment to provide Tata Communications with superior customer service for the rollout and operation of their LoRaWan network,” said Gouesbet. “It also signals the success of our ongoing strategy to rapidly expand in regions around the world where our equipment and services are increasingly in demand.”
The Wirnet iBTS Compact stations include a 3G dual-SIM modem to ensure backhaul continuity of service for data transmission to applicative servers. Its geolocation-ready design immediately enables Tata to anticipate global, innovative and cost-efficient services for its customers, based on the native geolocation capability for LoRaWan connected devices.
Kerlink, a founding member of the LoRa Alliance, specialises in IoT networks. Over the past three years, it has invested more than €8m in R&D. In just over ten years, more than 70,000 Kerlink installations have been rolled out for more than 260 clients, including major telecoms operators such as Proximus and Tata Communications, and utilities such as GrDF and Suez. In 2016, Kerlink generated revenues of €14.1m, 25 per cent internationally. Since 2013, it has posted average annual growth of more than 50 per cent.