We are in the age of WLANs, however, when M R Krishnan and R Ramanan ventured out to develop the first LAN in India about eighteen years back, there were some interesting challenges they had to face. Let us take a look at how the first LAN in India saw the light of the day. (Krishnan and Ramanan were both working for the TCS Networking team in 1990. Today, Krishnan works as VP – NSE Infotech services while Ramanan works as MD – CMC.)

"I was part of the Networking team at TCS, where we developed the first indigenously built LAN of India called FALCON (Fast Access Local Area Network) even before the Ethernet LAN standards came in," says Krishnan. For this indigenous LAN development, the efforts of both Krishnan and Ramanan were recognised and awarded by IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) in 1990.

Know more: LAN protocols

The first LAN implementation was done at Tata Steel, followed by one at VSNL, Mumbai. The FALCON LAN was also implemented at the Army Headquarters in Delhi. "In those early days, we used an Ethernet like indigenous CSMA/CD Protocol and the network speed was 2 Mbps," explains Krishnan. The LAN was implemented using coaxial cable and bus architecture. The LAN card itself was built using 75 discreet ICs and a Z80 Microprocessor. Getting the LAN card fabricated at the NELCO factory was also a challenge.
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