TD-LTE subscribers to reach 5 million by 2013 in Indian telecom market

Telecom Lead India:
Fuelled by investments by Bharti Airtel, Reliance Industries, and Augere, TD-LTE
subscriber adoption in India will reach 5 million by 2013.

Though at the end of 2011, there were 900 million mobile
subscribers, the market is fragmented, with more than 70 3G licensed circles.
Considerable expectations were placed on 4G WiMAX, which failed to materialize.

ABI Research said WCDMA and TD-LTE subscriber adoption will
eclipse 90 million and 5 million by 2013, respectively.

LTE offers the potential to change the cost equation of
delivering mobile data services through increased spectral efficiency – not
just in dense, urban communities but also rural towns and villages.

acquires stake in Extramarks Education ahead of Infotel Broadband’s 4G roll

Recently, Infotel Broadband Services (Infotel), a subsidiary
of Reliance Industries, picked up a 38.5 percent stake in Extramarks Education,
a company focused on school education and digital learning.

The investment by Infotel will enable Extramarks pursue its
aggressive growth plans in further developing services and wider market
penetration. Extramarks’ digital distribution model will provide invaluable
services to the student community across age groups including education support
and study help at affordable prices.

to launch TD-LTE services this year in India, signs deal with Nokia Siemens

Bharti Airtel will deploy its TD-LTE network in the 2.3 GHz
frequency band allocated by the Indian government for broadband wireless access

The Indian mobile subscriber market has demonstrated strong
growth in the past decade or so, but when it comes to the adoption of mobile
data services, the results are more mixed. Yes, total wireless data subscribers
stood at more than 370 million at the end of 2011, but only 17 million had
access to WCDMA services; the rest are being served by GPRS/EDGE,” said Jake
Saunders, vice president of forecasting.

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.

Despite challenges, Indian operators are executing a number
of initiatives.

These initiatives include: offloading their capital and
operating expenditure-intensive base station towers to tower management
companies; forging relationships with not just Nokia, Samsung, and LG, but also
lower cost handset manufacturers such as Huawei, ZTE, Micromax, and G’Five; repackaging
their data plans into more affordable, lower-tier options; introducing not just
low-cost tablets, but also 3G data plans; encouraging local apps developers to
create local software apps and content.

While 3G services are only now establishing a toehold in
the Indian market, operators such as Aircel, Augure, and Infotel are turning to
TD-LTE, a 4G technology of the time division variant, to help address the
market potential for mobile data services,” said Philip Solis, research
director, mobile devices.

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