World Bulletin / News Desk
"Almost every telecom operator bring tremendous service to society while the communication sector is one of the fields which needs biggest infrastructure investments," Guru Parulkar told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview.
"We are trying to move it further, so we can do faster innovation on this infrastructure," he said. "We think that communication infrastructure has gone quite far but still there is a long way to go.
"More opportunities are coming up with Internet of Things [IoT], Virtual Reality [VR], Augmented Reality [AR], connected cars... There are so many new technologies requiring better networks," Parulkar said.
"What we are trying to do is to enable that rate of innovation at a cost point which operators and society can afford."
Parulkar stated that it is not economically viable to build communication infrastructure in rural areas with current traditional ways while the open source materials allow establishing such networks at very different type of investment -- much more cost-effective.
Pointing the Turkish government's efforts to expand universal service network to bring communication infrastructure into the country's rural areas, he noted that a protocol was signed between the ONF and the Turkish government to test latest telecommunication technologies during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week.
"Using this government program as an opportunity to deploy the latest technology is a great idea," Parulkar said, and added: "If you can test the latest instruments, prove them in the rural areas, then you can deploy them in the mainstream metropolises."
"So there are couple of ifs, but if those ifs become true then Turk Telekom and whoever other partners will have tremendous opportunity not only to create the best infrastructure in the country but also to export it to other countries as well," he noted.
- 'World leader in 5G'
Noting that not many telecom operators are willing to deploy such disruptive or very programmable technologies based on open sources, he said: "If Turk Telekom can indeed deploy the technology coming out of our labs this year, the company would be a world leader in 5G."
Commenting about Turk Telekom's partnership with the ONF, Parulkar said that the organization is very encouraged by Turk Telekom's participation.
"Turk Telekom wants to change something and bring disruptive technology into their network," he said, adding: "Their approach is very supporting, as their qualified software engineers are actively participating and contributing to the ongoing projects."
Since 2011, the ONF consortium has been working with around 150 organizations including universities, equipment vendors, chip manufacturers, and software suppliers.
According to its mission, the ONF serves as the umbrella for a number of projects building solutions by leveraging network disaggregation, white box economics, open-source software and software-defined standards to revolutionize the carrier industry.
Partner-members -- including AT&T, China Unicom, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, Google, Samsung, Huawei, Ericsson, and Verizon -- have the most extensive rights in the ONF and provide major contributions to the community.
Turkish telecommunication giant Turk Telekom, whose roots date back to mid-1800s, became a partner-member of the ONF in September 2017.
The company is owned by Oger Telecom (55 percent), the Turkish Treasury (25 percent) and the Turkey Wealth Fund (6.68 percent), while the remaining 13.32 percent of its shares are publicly traded in Turkey's stock exchange market, Borsa Istanbul.
With over 33,000 employees, Turk Telekom is providing nationwide integrated telecommunication services to its nearly 42 million subscribers in the fixed voice, broadband, mobile, and pay TV markets.
According to the London-based Brand Finance valuation consultancy's list of top 100 Turkish brands for 2017, Turk Telekom topped the list with a brand value worth $2.62 billion