TRAI consultation to pave way for LTE Advanced in India

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) consultation paper on IMT Advanced is set to pave way for early adoption of LTE Advanced in India.


Several telecom equipment makers including Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks, Alcatel Lucent, ZTE and Huawei are waiting to tap the 4G opportunity in India. Since 3G investments are yet to increase, LTE Advanced will become their lifeline in the Indian telecom market


Telecom operators will be cagey about making huge investments in 4G, if they face stiff competition during spectrum auction as they have already coughed up huge funds to buy 3G spectrum.


Indian telecom operators are yet to complete 50 percent of their 3G roll outs. They also did not even start rolling out broadband wireless services after grabbing spectrum through BWA auction. Most of the operators are trying to assess the advantages between two technologies — WiMax and TD LTE before plunge into BWA services.


The state-run telecom operator MTNL that operates in Mumbai and Delhi metros is still waiting for recommendations from advisory firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) on its broadband strategy. We are waiting for final recommendations from PWC on our broadband policy,” said AK Bharghava, executive director (wireless), MTNL.


MTNL has the BWA spectrum to roll out wireless broadband services in Mumbai and Delhi. We are open to use both WiMax and TD-LTE for broadband roll outs. WiMax is still used in many countries,” Bharghava added.


Sistema Shyam Teleservices (MTS) is unhappy about the recent developments in telecom sector in India. Recently, Rozanov Vsevolod, MD and president of Sistema Shyam Teleservices said the company is likely to take a relook at its LTE plans in India due to apprehension about investment conditions in the country.


Globally, LTE is on a growth path. 218 operators in 81 countries are investing in LTE. 24 LTE networks have been commercially launched in 16 countries, and at least 91 new LTE networks are expected to be commercially launched by 2012, according to GSA.


166 firm commercial LTE network deployments are in progress or planned in 62 countries, including networks which have been commercially launched. A further 52 operators in 19 additional countries are engaged in LTE technology trials, tests or studies.


Industry is waiting to watch Reliance Industries’ promoter Mukesh Ambani’s game plan for TD-LTE services after getting BWA spectrum in all circles. If Advanced LTE spectrum can be grabbed by a single operator , it can become a tough competitor to Mukesh Ambani.


The Anil Ambani promoted Reliance Communications did not buy any BWA spectrum in 2010. Will Reliance Communications look at LTE? High end broadband is a focus area for Reliance Communications. Without LTE, Reliance Communications’ broadband plans will be incomplete especially Vodafone and Bharti Airtel are actively lookin at the LTE space.


By Baburajan K
[email protected]