Telecom Lead India: Tikona Digital Networks is planning
to spend Rs 1,000 crore in the next two years for rolling out services. The
company has BWA licenses in five telecom circles in India to offer 4G LTE
Tikona Digital won BWA licenses during the auction in
2010, along with Infotel Broadband Services (part of Reliance Industries),
Qualcomm, Bharti Airtel, Aircel, Augere and others.
On April 10, Airtel became the first Indian telecom
operator to launch 4G services in Kolkata. Other operators are yet to launch
mobile broadband services.
Tikona, which already offers Wi-Fi data connectivity to
home consumers as well as small enterprises, hopes to combine both LTE and
Wi-Fi in future plans.
The combined service will offer data connectivity through
existing Wi-Fi networks indoors, such as homes and offices. When the same
consumer moves outdoors, these services will be offered via LTE, according to a
report in Business Standard.
“We will converge both. When at home, traffic will automatically
get bypassed to Wi-Fi. When the devices are used outside, we can connect it to
LTE. Both will offer high speed experience but this way, it will have a better
cost distribution and this combination will be very powerful,” said Prakash
Bajpai, chief executive officer of Tikona Digital Networks.
Bajpai does not rule out the possibility of offering
voice along with data in the package. While voice can be offered over WiMax
spectrum through voice operated internet protocol or VoIP, it requires a huge
ecosystem of LTE devices, which is not widely available.
Bajpai did not comment on whether he would participate in
the forthcoming re-auction of 2G spectrum.
The Wi-Fi and LTE combination will also follow the usage
patterns of consumers.
Tikona claims to have an advantage in terms of the
circles in which it has LTE capacity. Except in Himachal Pradesh, the company
offers its Wi-Fi services in the circles where it has BWA spectrum. The others
being Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West) and Rajasthan.
About 30 percent of the population of India resides in
the five circles, with 320 million population. Earlier, circles like UP and
Bihar were considered low grade telecom circles, but not now. Today, they might
have the lowest number of Internet customers, but they will have the highest
potential for the Internet, as they are populous,” said Bajpai.
Tikona is undertaking a second phase of expansion of its
Wi-Fi network. It currently offers these services in 39 cities. It is about to
start a second phase of expansion of its Wi-Fi services across the country.
Tikona created value for 270,000 consumers and 10,000
small and medium business enterprises. It has started trading sights on
high-end enterprise consumers.