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More disputes threaten to delay India's WiMAX goldrush

25 июля 2008

India is absolutely critical to the fortunes of WiMAX, and the level of uptake in the huge nation will help decide how prominent a position 802.16e takes in the overall wireless landscape in the next decade.

There are many reasons for WiMAX supporters to be hopeful, but every time it appears that the technology may a major green light this year, the political disputes with which the Indian telecoms market is plagued throw another roadblock in the way. So last week, regulator TRAI clashed once again with the Department of Telecom (DoT), threatening the plan to auction mobile broadband licenses in 2.3-2.7GHz this year alongside 3G rights - a dual-layer plan that could help underpin a wireless revolution for India, with operators able to roll out 3G and 4G services according to need, and with WiMAX likely to play a major role.

Despite the frustration of delays - which, if prolonged, threaten to allow LTE into the market -
India remains WiMAX' biggest single hope for revenue and global influence. Most of the major operators and many small ones are already building out 802.16e in 3.3GHz for wireless DSL,enterprise and nomadic data services, with Tata, BSNL and Bharti among the players. The leading cellcos are likely to snap up the 3G licenses and some of the mobile broadband franchises, but these will be fully technology neutral and Tata, Bharti and Reliance have all expressed interest in using WiMAX as their primary '4G' system. Research by Rethink into operator spending intentions for mobile broadband indicate that, after 2010 (assuming the auctions go ahead by the end of this year), India will show the highest annual growth in WiMAX investment of any country in 2010 and 2011, and at that point will be the leading nation in terms of WiMAX roll-out. On the subscriber side, another report, this one from Springboard Research, estimates that India will be the largest market in the Asia-Pacific region by 2012, accounting for over 35% of service revenues across the area, and boasting 15.8m subscribers.

Источник: WiMAX Trends

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