Friday, February 27, 2009

Industrial Visit to CETTM - MTNL; Hiranandani, Mumbai

Date : 27 feb 2009

Well at long last we had a trip organized for our EXTC batch of 2009 by the college. The venue was CETTM (Centre for Excellence in Telecom Technology and Management) - MTNL (Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd.) - India's most reputed telecom company - and it was located at Hiranandani, Powai, Mumbai.

We were scheduled to assemble at the venue by 9:30am; so (as expected) everyone turned up by 10:30am (and some even later). The unfortunate ones who came early were given the opportunity to wait in the cafeteria. The cafe was huge, but the lack of options in the food we could order was shocking. The four professors who take up our subjects for this semester, namely Prof. Deshmukh, Prof. Savarkar, Prof Boyer and Prof Patil were present. We were made to sit in a state-of-the-art conference room which was quite impressive.

Finally at 10:30, Mr. Prashant Reddy started proceeding by giving us an overview on what we would be briefed on during the day. He also gave a brief talk on transmission network, CDR (call data record) and switching and the imprortance of IT in telecom. We were then shown a video on the training facility that we were in. The video seemed to be made for the sole purpose of selling the place to the viewer. With some really fancy background music and quotes like 'the facility is set in an oasis of calm' offering 'training and tranquility' had everyone chuckling. Mr. Samir then gave us a lecture on transmission in telecom. Everything from losses in different transmission media (copper, air and fibre) to network topologies, PDH and SDH, ITU-T standards and TRAI. Mr. Pradeep tookover from him and brief us on network switching. He emphasised on how we need to know the history of telecom in India before jumping into wireless. He spoke about the different generations of telecom technology and then went on to talk about how switching takes place at the telephone exchange. Also basics like PCM and durations of timeslots while scanning subscribers was covered by him.

We were then divided into 3 groups and given a tour of the labs at CETTM. I first visited the 'Model Exchange Lab' (switching) where Mr. Pradeep first gave a presentation explaining the working of OCB-283. He then showed us the racks and the various cards they contained explaining the function of each (or atleast the more important ones). He rounded it off by saying "all cards look the same". The second lab my group visited was the 'SDH-OFS lab' where Mr. Samir showed and explained PDH and then SDH schemes and how they are connected. Both the labs had equipment that we had never heard of in our textbooks but we did kinda understood their working and how they were important in the big scheme of things (whatever that means).

That was followed by a half an hour lunch break in the cafe.

2:15 pm...Ms Shivkamini, the manager of CETTM gave us refreshing talk on her work and why the traing facility was built. Prof Savarkar thanked her for her hospitality and after the obligations were over we visited the 'OFC,MPLS lab' where we were shown optical fibre cutting and splicing. Same lab we were shown MPLS routers and switching.

A brief tea break followed in where else but the cafe. Some people excused themselves and managed to escape the facility.

The rest of us were audience to a lecture first by Mr. Reddy who asked us some simple questions (which no one could answer) and later by Mr. Naathan. The latter gave us quite an animated lecture on GSM and wireless communications with a few jokes along the way, which really helped. In the end, on the repeated insistence of Prof Patil we had a group photograph taken at the gate.

Overall a welcome change from our regular dry lectures. Personally I think in the future every college will need to have these centres for practical training or will need to have affiliations with places like CETTM. Trips like these should happen on a regular basis in engineering colleges. Only then will we realise that what we are studying in our books is something that is actually quite necessary to know.


Aadi said...

we also want to go on an IV to did u all contact the CETTM???

Unknown said...

our college contacted them and arranged the visit. you can request your department to send them a formal invitation.