After his recent trip to Australia, outspoken Sitara Networks CEO, Malik Khan, has blasted the global telecommunications sector for what he says is a lack of class-based service offerings.
According to Khan the telecommunications industry is wallowing in the "dark ages", unable to offer consumers different levels of access to telephony and the Internet.
"The analogy I use is the airline industry. If the airline industry was like the telco industry we'd all be flying economy class," Khan said. "It's taken 30 years for airlines to get there but the telco industry is a laggard."
The criticism comes at a time when Khan claims telco's are investing not on infrastructure, but on ways of maximising their existing infrastructure. Sitara develops quality of service (QoS) products designed to provision bandwidth resources across an enterprise or service provider.
Khan's opinion of the telco sector treads a fine line considering Sitara derived one third of its revenues from the carrier market during June 2001, up from 20 per cent of revenues in March and 10 per cent last December.
In an exclusive interview with ARN, Khan did not shy away from rumours Sitara had cut back significantly on staff in the US. However, he denied the vendor followed the majority of North American networking companies and endured a specific lay-off period.
Although Khan would not be drawn on an exact figure, Sitara has maintained a global head count of around 200 employees with a number of people hired throughout Asia.
"It's a redeployment of staff resources, to where the market is growing the strongest," said Khan.
In related news, Sitara is considering establishing a research and development centre in Sydney. India and China are also being considered.
"Australia's a location where we can find smart people that speak the same language," Khan told ARN. A decision is expected by the end of the year.