Ericsson India’s Chris Houghton says 3G to drive mobile broadband growth

Ericsson India’s new head Chris Houghton says 3G will drive mobile broadband growth in the country than 4G.

At present, Bharti Airtel is the only operator in India with 4G presence in 4 telecom circles.

Reliance Jio Infocomm, which has a pan-India license for 4G on TD-LTE technologies, will launch 4G in 2014, after getting the BWA license in 2010 for around Rs 12,000 crore.

Airtel earlier said the focus of the company this fiscal will be on creating more revenue streams than Capex on telecom infrastructure.

Chris Houghton, head of Region, Ericsson India, said 3G mobile services will drive broadband as it is accessible and affordable.

“4G is still at a nascent stage and existing roll-outs are small in comparison to 3G. But eventually 4G will find its place and Ericsson will gain contracts in 4G,” Houghton said.

Ericsson is yet to sign any significant 4G deals in India after it cancelled the earlier contract with France Telecom-backed Augere to supply equipment for 4G technology based broadband services with the latter deciding to exit the Indian market, Hindu Business Line reported.

At present, Chinese telecom equipment vendors Huawei Technologies (in Karnataka) and ZTE Telecom India (Kolkatta) and Nokia Siemens Networks (Maharashtra) are working with Bharti Airtel on 4G projects.

Ericsson’s rival Alcatel-Lucent is also yet to open its 4G account in India.

Though Reliance Jio Infocomm announced that it has already signed deal with important 4G players, the company is yet to name them. It is believed that Samsung is one of the major vendors Reliance Jio has zeroed in.

Ericsson’s new India head hopes that Indian telecom operators will increase Capex in coming years.

In Q1 2013, Ericsson India posted 13 percent increase in revenue to $242.83 million (SEK 1,606 million). Ericsson earlier said that telecom operators’ spending in India remains cautious, principally because of sustained regulatory uncertainty. The momentum for managed services continued with a major contract signed in the quarter.

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