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Raj San

Raj San

Engineering Expert

Belgacom International Carrier Services

Current Trends
The factors that will drive the ontogenesis of next generation mobile networks namely are the evolution of the mobile devices and ever incremental demand for data traffic triggered by the proliferation of smart phones and the dongles. Apprehending an exponential growth in numbers of the mobile users, the cell size of the mobile network will shrink. Eventually, there will be an upsurge of signalling messages interchanged between the device and the network due to an increase in handover related operations. Attempt should be made to reduce the interaction with the network and to simplify the mobility and location management related processes which is my area of research.Besides this topic, some other aspects to consider are as follows.
Machine to Machine devices may surpass the number of human users. Nano mobile networks will also define the landscape of next generation networks. From the perspective of applications , I think RCS (Rich communication suite) and NFC will play pivotal roles.
Views about 'Tech product Introduction is weak among Indians'
Two things that I feel are important here.Firstly the way we are educated. Right from the childhood , one drowns in the studies to cope up with the competition and with the aim to make it at the best business/engineering or medical schools . Very few schools or parents actually investigate which subject is most suitable for the kids , and whether they are able to imbibe the subject during the professional studies . One can live better as a painter or photographer rather than an engineer or doctor. So very few engineers we have today may have the impending urge to do something new and to do it perfectly. Coming out of the college with flying colours with a good job in hand is the not the end of the story. Actually the story starts from there. A lot of motivation and dedication is required to create the best quality engineering products.The second problem is government support and funding on research.Our premier technical institutes also should delve in quality research.
Family Background
My parents were both professors. Father is an economist of high repute. Mother is a zoologist. My wife is masters in English literature. I have a son , 9 years old and studying in Brussels. My only brother (younger) is an economist and risk analyst in a senior management band in an Australian bank . After obtaining his doctorate from US , he continues research in his field.
Challenges faced in job
As I said before , at my present role, I have the opportunity to work with the latest technologies, participate actively in shaping up the future telecom standards and be attuned to the various issues that needs to be solved during the process of technology evolution. It helps me in getting a birds eye view of the telecom technology landscape . It abets keeping an open mind to embrace any new technologies that comes up with a new promise.
My advice
Go in steps, be patient, think out of the box , identify the key problem and crack the solution, be different from the crowd. Study and innovate. Be ambitious . Keep yourself updated with all the latest technologies. And remember that the devil is in the detail.
My important career decision
I had been incessantly poignant that I was not doing enough to become a technology expert and an innovator. This has always been driving force in me to go the extra mile. I had taken 2 important decisions in this respect.Firstly, I made sure that my roles and responsibilities in the organizations where I had worked/working have proximity to the core subject matter. In all my roles for the last 15 years, I have mostly played the role of SME. I am glad today to be the technical expert responsible for taking key technical decisions iin the area of next generation roaming of a very bright and growing West European company.Secondly , I had always been associated to telecom research both from academics and professional perspectives . This had aided me to carve a name in the global telecom research community. I have always been able to block some quality time for research out of my calender. The result of all these efforts were several patents , papers in international forums & journals.
Company and job profile
I was brought up in Berhampore, a serene district town in West Bengal on the banks of the river Ganges. I did my schooling there and subsequently studied Electrical Engineering at a Government Engineering college at North Bengal. During my college days, I had developed an impending desire to delve into new technology designs. I had a strong support of my father due to which I garnered the courage to apply for the first patent aimed at solving the conundrum of next generation wireless computer networking. During the 90s, the radio modems lacked speed and stability. This kindled the idea in me to design a high speed and stable wireless modem which communicates directly in the UHF by conveying video signals. The ASCII characters are translated to colour information for the uplink channel. Upon reception of the signal at the receiving entity, colour is again translated to ASCII via the lookup table and the transmitted characters were formulated. The patent was granted taking into consideration the simple, yet elegant and powerful model .The technology was highlighted by Indian news media.

Following my engineering course, I joined IIT KGP as research associate and then following a brief stint ,joined one of the youngest mobile networks of India , now Vodafone in the city of Kolkata . Since 1997, I worked as a telecom engineer with the GSM Exchange for 3 years, then was assigned the responsibility of the internal developments of the Value Added Services. My major achievement was to develop the first indigenous WAP gateway . Yet another was to fabricate inhouse a ´state of the art` voice messaging system and develop multi lingual SMS solutions.

Over the coming years, I worked in various telecom organisations , a French Telecom Startup as Telecom Domain Specialist , Reliance Communication as Core Network Engineering Manager, IBM as Managing Consultant , primarily at the role of a technical architect. I relentlessly ventured in new concepts and applications, some through inhouse developments while the rest through solutioning and architectural design. A few of them which were eulogized by the industry are the ‘CDMA to GSM ‘ protocol stack roaming converter which is still fully operational at Reliance and the Telecom Service Delivery Platform at IBM.

For the last 5 years, I work at BICS (Belgacom International Carrier Services) as Engineering Expert at Brussels on next generation roaming applications. BICS , a subsidiary of the state owned Belgacom group is a pioneer in carrier business which faciliates voice,data,signalling,roaming across mobile operators / VAS providers/VOIP service providers pan world. My main responsibility is to carve out the technical design and platform engineering of the instant roaming and hubbing applications to enable ubiquitous roaming between LTE and the UMTS / GSM core and WiFi networks. Identifying issues that could not yet be solved by the industry and then attempting to solve them is one of our passions. Mentionable is the famous APN modification issue of Smartphones which needed special manipulations at the core network to enable data roaming with those devices.The European patent was applied accordingly.

Besides my professional career as core network expert, I am also deeply engrossed in research activities , stemming from my academic interests. My endeavour is to propose an ultra-LITE mobility management and addressing framework for the next generation mobile networks which is based only on an intelligent physical layer. The lacunas of the LTE network culminates from its top heavy architecture which closely resembles its predecessors ( UMTS and GSM ).We have the issues of spectrum efficiency , the intricacy of the mobility management processes, high power consumption both by the network and the device.

My idea is to set out an alternate architecture and a smart multiple access method for a new generation mobile network which will transcend the performance and throughput derived from the state of the art networks. For a Close User Group Network following the fixed addressing scheme, it will be possible to have peer to peer handset communication even without piggybacking on an underlying mobile network.

Following patent on this technology, I had presented the concept and its various applications in different international forums, like world congress computer science USA, IEEE conferences in Europe and far east . I had published many peer reviewed papers in European and American telecommunication research journals unfurling the details of the core technology and its implementation scenarios. Some examples are nano mobile networks, Machine to Machine communications, Vehicular networks, Closed User Group networks and the technologies relying on wireless media for last mile access.

This is aligned with my attempt to realise a smarter network for our future generation which is cleaner and greener than its predecessors.

I am associated with Prof Ramjee Prasad from Univ of Aalborg and Prof Ernestina Cianca from Univ of Rome for my telecom research activities.
Making job easier
Open interaction , be a straight talker, respect others, have the ‘can do attitude’, analyses in depth at the entry point so that problems do not occur latter, do not linger in taking the decision, be brave to think out of the box which finally helps in making the product different. We humans can commit mistakes , but the mistakes are a part of the learning process too. Say no when you are quite sure that it is an absurd proposal.
Books recommended
1.CAMEL, Intelligent Networks for GSM,GPRS,UMTS by Rogier Noldus.
2.GSM Networks:Protocols, Terminology and Implementation ,Gunnar Heine
3.Signalling System # 7 : Travis Russell
4.The LTE/SAE Deployment Handbook , Jyrki T. J. Penttinen
Goals and Ambitions
My proposed technology, ´Smart Mobility Management and Access Topology´ may` be the holy grail of the next generation mobile networks. In 5 years time , one of my goals is to see this technology being accepted and implemented in live networks, as an alternative for LTE and its predecessors. I wish to align my ambition and endeavor to realize a network technology for the future generation, which is cleaner, greener and leaner compared to the state of the art.
Managing professional as well as personal life
I ensure that I spend quality time both at office and at home. Though I try my best to keep profession and personal life separately, but sometimes have to make compromises. My family is very supportive. Though my work does not demand frequent travel, I like to visit different countries with family. I think that seeing different cultures and civilizations is the key to self development and getting the right exposure to understand what is right and wrong. We also listen to good quality music together, mainly Indian and European Classical.I have very close bonding with my parents and my brother and his family and we try to be together at least once or twice a year either in India or abroad.
My strongest Skill
Innovations for future networks,Research and Development of new solutions/ products for 3G/LTE Core networks . Managing complex telecom projects. Managing large engineering teams for telecom operations and new product developments . Engineering and design of global telecom signalling networks spanning across all continents.
My role model
I had been once invited to ARCES (Advanced Research Center on Electronic Systems for Information and Communication), University of Bologna for delivering a lecture on some of my proposed telecom concepts. Bologna is the birthplace of Marconi who made a controversial and yet one of the most relevant inventions of modern time, the radio transceiver. That day, my thoughts went towards Prof JC Bose. It is hardly imaginable how he was able to conceive such a brilliant idea in most difficult times and little support. According to me , a person with unprecedented passion, a strong urge to do something substantially new and perseverance was able to create the most important invention of modern times. I do not think we had better technology innovators born in our country still today. He is really a role model who inspired me a lot during my profession and in my research.
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