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Tata, UCG eye joint ANZ
opportunities with new partnership

Tata Communications Transformation Services and Universal Communications Group have struck a new agreement that will see the two businesses jointly explore opportunities in the ANZ telco market as well as the broader APAC region.

“UCG has a lot of local experience and knowledge, and we work globally and have global best practices and experience, so we're bringing these things together,” Sobhanbabu Chunduru, TCTS’s vice president and country manager for ANZ, told CommsDay. “That's the strength of the relationship. It means our customers in the region can now get fully integrated solutions for reliable, robust, scalable, virtualised and secure next gen networks. UCG provides the next gen, technology-driven broadband design, construction and cabling services, and TCTS comes with the telco heritage.” “We're probably more field-facing, whereas I think TCTS is bringing a level of expertise that we don't have,” said Ralf Luna, UCG’s executive chair. “I think it's a good marriage because we're not stepping on each other’s toes,” he told CommsDay. Luna added: “I think if you look at where telco is heading, more and more of the service providers are looking for a holistic approach. They want somebody who's going to be able to deliver the whole delivery chain rather than part of the delivery chain. So this is where TCTS and us can explore opportunities that probably wouldn't be open to either party.”

Luna said it was “early days” for the partnership, with UCG and TCTS establishing a framework for joint work, including a standing committee that meets regularly. “The framework is there; the opportunities are materialising,” he said. The parties have already put together some proposals in response to requests for tenders, Luna added.

“We are working together on opportunities and discussions with large carriers, but also we've got IoT initiatives that we're working on jointly with councils,” he said. “TCTS has got particular expertise in the IoT field. They run probably the biggest Lo-RaWAN network in the world,” he added. “We have a relationship with some of our councils,” Luna said, citing the example of Gold Coast City Council where UCG is providing support for its fibre network.

“There's some smaller opportunities in the South Pacific that we’re working on,” Luna said. He said he couldn’t release the details, but said it would involve rolling out fibre to some of the smaller islands, and then providing ongoing operations: “which is probably closer aligned to the skills of TCTS”.

“We are working on a couple of opportunities in New Zealand and, in a couple of months, in Australia,” Chunduru said. “So we believe that this partnership will be helpful to both of us and to the customers and in the region.”

Sobhanbabu Chunduru,
VP & Country Manager- ANZ,
Tata Communications Transformation Services (TCTS)

Ralf Luna,
Executive Chairman,
Universal Communications Group (UCG)

Interview is featured in Communications day, A telecommunications news authority of Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, in Issue 5942 on 16th June 2020

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