India to stall major TD-LTE deployments till 2014 due to political factors?

Telecom Lead India: India is expected to stall TD-LTE deployment until at least 2014 due to a variety of political factors.

Analyst firm TBR said for the remainder of 2012, activity in Asia Pacific region will slow as Japan and South Korea complete their initial LTE builds and China and India stall TD-LTE deployment until at least 2014 due to a variety of political factors.

TBR, analyzing the Telecom Infrastructure Services (TIS) market, also predicted that growth in EMEA and CALA will slow as large projects initiated in 2010 and 2011 wind down. North America will drive TIS growth through 2012 and 2013 as the deployment of nationwide LTE networks continues in the U.S. and Canada.

Tier 1 North American operator Capex budgets for the two remaining quarters in 2012 will sharply increase from 2011 spend levels as network investments accelerate. As the primary supplier of LTE equipment to six of the seven Tier 1 operators in the region, Ericsson will be the primary beneficiary of this Capex spend spike.

The prediction justifies the fact that Bharti Airtel, Reliance Industries and Aircel are going slow on TD-LTE roll outs. The Mukesh Ambani-run Infotel Broadband is yet to finalize their equipment partners though they won broadband wireless spectrum in 2010. Since the TD-LTE adoption is very slow (around 5,000), Airtel will be very cautious in roll outs in other circles.

Leslie Shannon, head of Segment Marketing, Middle-East & Asia

Recently, ABI Research said fuelled by investments by Bharti Airtel and Reliance Industries, TD-LTE subscriber adoption in India will reach 5 million by 2013. The telecom research firm said WCDMA and TD-LTE subscriber adoption will eclipse 90 million and 5 million by 2013, respectively.

There are a number of challenges to kick-starting the Indian mobile broadband market. The large landmass and population are two substantial reasons, but India’s low average monthly revenue per user ($3-5) also constrains cash flow to fund infrastructure investments.

According to Parks Associates, Asia Pacific will lead the 4G LTE market by 2016. Large gains will be in South Korea and Japan. The Asia & Pacific region will overtake North America in number of 4G/LTE subscribers. Asia & Pacific will have more than 53 percent of 4G/LTE subscribers. Globally, the total number of subscribers will be over 560 million by 2016.

“India needs different business model for TD-LTE. LTE on mobile phone will add enough value to Indian mobile broadband customers,” Leslie Shannon, head of Segment Marketing, Middle-East & Asia, told recently.

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