InfoTel might choose WiMAX over LTE in deploying 4G broadband services across India, according to a recent report. Indian telecom operators are deciding between the two competing technologies after the spectrum auction netted $8.22 billion.
IntoTel was the lone operator that was awarded spectrum space across all of India. They will lead the way in deploying 4G in India. Broadband penetration is less than one percent and the subscriber base is merely nine million people. Large international companies support the different technologies. Qualcomm supports LTE deployment while Intel supports WiMAX deployment in India.
Reliance Industries purchased a 95 percent stake in Infotel for Rs4,800 crore. It was thought that the company would choose LTE. A senior RIL official hinted at choosing devices that supports both WiMAX and LTE. Many companies rushed to establish themselves as device suppliers for the network deployments. Samsung will offer the migration of WiMAX devices seamlessly to LTE once the technology is mature in the market.
“LTE is a technology that is a future technology. It is expected to come in two years. What is available today is WiMax,” Hung Song, vice-president, global sales and marketing, telecom systems, Samsung Electronics, said, “The answer is a natural progression.”
Samsung is the only company offering LTE devices to TeliaSonera’s Scandinavian network. DoCoMo and Verizon Wireless are two carriers set to launch LTE services in Japan and the U.S. respectively. AT&T gave equipment contracts to Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson for LTE deployment in the U.S. in 2011.
This shows that LTE isn’t far off, but the market hasn’t matured. WiMAX is now and the speeds are faster and more available that the 3G signal provided to Indian broadband users. They’re hoping the equipment providers can provide the dual-mode devices that cover both technologies. It is something that would work in India. The market is so valuable for all involved, from the operators to the equipment suppliers to the end users, the technology choices could make the operators millions of dollars.
Other operators are waiting for RIL to make their decision. They’ll pace the rest of the operator field because they have such an advantage over the rest of the operators that were awarded spectrum space. It’s important to get the deployment right. They’ll probably start out deploying WiMAX first and then migrate to LTE over time. Clearwire is also planning the same transition in the U.S., … Read the rest