Monday, November 8, 2010

LTE gearing up to cash in on India opportunity

LTE ecosystem is projecting readiness lest operators choose rival WiMax. There is a sense of urgency in the LTE camp with Infotel reportedly looking to roll out WiMax.

The major argument in favour of WiMax, apparently, is that it is ready in terms of network equipment and end user devices, and operators seem convinced by this.

To counter this Ericsson has announced its readiness to roll out its LTE network as soon as operators decide their launch plan. P Balaji, Ericsson’s vice president for marketing and strategy in India, said to Telecom Yatra, "Ericsson is ready with the technology and equipment. We can implement as soon as operators decide to roll out the network.”

Qualcomm went to the extent of bidding for TD LTE spectrum in India, and is now in a hurry to implement it. It announced its local partner in the venture and has already applied for FIPB and an internet service provider’s licence.

It also announced plans to do trials by the first quarter of 2011 to prove LTEs mobility and compatibility. These trials are aimed at convincing operators of two things: One, LTE will provide full mobility, and two, that it will work with 2G and 3G devices.

Demonstrating compatibility with 3G devices is basically aimed at thwarting the WiMax camp’s claims that the LTE equipment is not ready. Qualcomm president, India and South Asia, Kanwalinder Singh, said, "There is no dearth of devices for LTE as it works with 3G and 3G+ devices which are already available in the Indian market and that too at reasonable prices.”

He added, "We are working with the industry to bring down the price points further."

The WiMax camp on the other hand is busy showcasing its strengths to the industry. These include lower rollout cost and device readiness. It also claims that full mobility is already available.

Although the Indian market is very important for both the camps, for WiMax it seems to be more important after the set backs it has received with Sprint in the USA and Yota in Russia.

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