In 2016 the category of Best Wholesale Operator was more hotly contested than ever before, with no fewer than seven outstanding entries impressing the judges of the World Communication Awards enough to make the shortlist, but in the end it was Tata Communications that stood out as the winner. Total Telecom spoke to Tata Communications about their success, the challenges for the year ahead, and what it means to win at the WCA.

TT: What does it take to be a successful wholesale operator?
It takes a strong global presence, a vast array of services, commitment to customers and strategic investment to be successful in serving the wholesale market. Tata Communications’ global wholesale business provides services in over 240 countries and territories and is supported by employees in over 40 countries. With a strong presence in both developed and emerging markets, the company is a key enabler of information and communication technology globally with a broad range of services including network services; voice, data and mobility solutions; unified communications & collaboration tools; managed security; content management; media and entertainment services; and cloud and data centre solutions.
Tata Communications sets itself apart from the competition by keeping our customers’ and partners’ business requirements, trends and movements at the heart of everything it we do. We are constantly finding new ways for our customers and partners to capture growth and are developing innovative services that deliver an exceptional end user experience.  
Tata Communications is the only provider with years of investment and infrastructure through its $1.19bn investment in the world’s only wholly-owned subsea fibre network that circles the globe. 
TT: What are the biggest challenges that Tata Communications faces in the future?
Continuing to innovate and keep ahead of the game is always a challenge. Our industry does not tolerate resting on one’s laurels. We have to constantly think of how to innovate at multiple levels, such as technology, customer experience and go-to-market initiatives. Innovation is at the heart of our daily activity and not a separate undertaking or responsibility.
The other challenge relates to people and talent, having enough management depth to keep building our portfolio and doing it in a way that it is energising and inspiring. This is an exciting opportunity.
TT: What are the biggest opportunities open to Tata Communications?
The areas of mobile and media/entertainment services expansion present huge opportunities.
TT: What do you think will be the big telecoms trends in 2017?
In 2016, we saw a soar in data consumption, fuelled by live video streaming and the rise of augmented reality apps put unprecedented pressures on networks. We also saw telcos push into the OTT space and increase user access capabilities. In addition, great strides were made in 5G development and IoT.
In 2017, we expect to see these trends continue to gain momentum with OTT service growth fuelled by streaming video and public demand for more non-linear media consumption in the AI space.
Security will also be a hot trend in 2017. Network security will become more important than ever and we expect to see encryption transition from a niche play to a more pervasive technology.
Additionally, developments linked to cloud computing, data centres, data analytics (big data), machine-to-machine (M2M), and the internet-of-things (IoT) will all play a part in transforming the industry in 2017.
TT: Why did you choose to enter the WCA, what does winning mean to your organisation?
We view the WCA as one of the most credible and prestigious awards to win in the telco industry. To be chosen as a winner in a category that has and will remain to be of key importance to service providers and enterprises alike demonstrates that Tata Communications continues to lead the pace in a dynamic ICT landscape.
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Seven companies made the shortlist for Best Wholesale Operator for the 2016 World Communication Awards, with Tata Communications joined by Interoute, NTT Communications, Telefonica Business Solutions, Telia Carrier, Telstra Wholesale and Vodafone Carrier Services. The judges said Tata stood out amongst a field of excellent entries with outstanding testimonials, clear demonstration of scale, service innovation and financial success. The award was sponsored by Carriers World, the leading London based gathering for the wholesale industry. Find out more about the WCA at