Ericsson’s 4G aspirations, Augere Wireless is set to exit from Indian 4G LTE
Augere Wireless, according to a report in Economic Times,
will be closing down its India operations and asked its employees in the
country to resign. It is currently looking for a buyer for its BWA license for
Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh circles.
The company was planning to launch 4G services in H2 2012 under
the ‘ZOOSH Broadband’ brand.
Augere Wireless’ decision to exit from India and sell the
spectrum will be a huge blow to Ericsson’s 4G aspirations in India in the short
term since the Swedish gear maker is yet to win 4G deals from other big
However, if Augere Wireless sells its BWA license in India,
Ericsson will be in a position to complete the project.
Ericsson was the first equipment vendor in India to announce
its 4G deal to supply equipments to Augere. It had also roped in TCS to handle
its IT and customer services requirements.
Ericsson bags 4G TD-LTE contract from Augere
Recently, Huawei, ZTE and Nokia Siemens Networks announced
their 4G deals with Airtel (for Karnataka circle), Airtel (for Kolkata circle)
and Airtel (for Maharashtra circle), respectively. Airtel is yet to announce
its equipment provider for Chandigarh launch.
“There is a lot of uncertainty hanging over the
telecoms sector in India. The cancellation of licences by the Supreme Court, TRAI’s
rules for re-auction and the exorbitantly high reserve price, as well as lack
of clarity on the new telecoms policy, which was supposed to be unveiled by
mid-last year and has not happened yet… all these factors have resulted in our
investors stopping funding for our activities here,” said Augere Wireless
CEO Lars Henrick Stork.
Augere Wireless officials said the company is not getting
funds from financial institutions to complete the project.
subscribers to reach 5 million by 2013 in Indian telecom market
Augere paid about Rs 125 crore for its 4G permit in 2010. In
October 2011, the company said it would invest about Rs 270 crore over the next
three to five years to roll out services.
Besides India, Augere currently has access to spectrum in
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. Access to additional
spectrum is being actively pursued across Africa and Asia.
Augere’s first commercial wireless network was launched
under the Qubee brand in Pakistan in July 2009. This was closely followed by
the Bangladesh network in October 2009. By mid-2011 Augere was operating
wireless networks comprising more than 650 radio base stations and serving over
100,000 broadband customers.