Light Reading
The auction of 3G spectrum could be nearly with us, 4G is under scrutiny, and mobile number portability edges further away, plus more

India Watch: 3G Wait Over?

Ray Le Maistre
LR Mobile News Analysis
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief
2/23/2010
50%
50%

India looks set to be one of the most interesting, turbulent, exciting, and frustrating of telecom markets for the foreseeable future. (See India Ends 2009 on a Mobile High and A Guide to India's Telecom Market.)

Why? Check out this collection of news snippets to find out.

3G auction hopes raised again
It's just possible that the auction of 3G spectrum might take place in mid-April. The Economic Times reports India's telecom minister, Andimuthu Raja, as saying the government will issue a bid document by the end of this week. That move will kick-start a process that, according to Raja, should end with an auction around 40 to 45 days later, or around mid-April.

Exciting news for sure, and the vendor community will no doubt be in a frenzy over which operators might prevail, and what the resulting 3G network rollout spoils might be. But we've heard the 3G story so many times before -- in May 2009, for example -- that seeing will be believing. (See IndiaWatch: 3G Auction Imminent.)

In the meantime, India continues to activate nearly 20 million new 2G lines per month, so there's no shortage of ongoing network capacity and management issues to deal with. (See India Ends 2009 on a Mobile High.)

And then, of course, there's the next generation of mobile after that...

Preparing early for 4G
With the whole 3G process having dragged on for a few years now, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has decided it doesn't want to encounter similar delays with the next generation of mobile technology, and so has initiated an industry consultation on Long Term Evolution (LTE), reports the Economic Times. (See India's 3G Spectrum in Short Supply .)

Maybe India should just skip 3G altogether, and move straight from 2G to LTE. That, as Light Reading Asia has pointed out previously, wouldn't be such a bad idea. (See Tata's 3G Conundrum .)

Mobile number portability woes
The whole 3G spectrum muddle isn't the only issue troubling the Indian mobile sector currently. Mobile number portability, for which preparations have been going on for nearly a year, had been due to be introduced at the beginning of this year, but it has also been affected by delays and pushed to the end of March. (See Asia Watch: M&A, IPTV & Indian Delays and AsiaWatch: India Preps Number Portability.)

Now, though, minister Raja is talking of a launch at the end of May, reports The Press Trust of India.

And as a side issue, Telcordia Technologies Inc. 's investment in a joint venture to handle India's impending mobile number portability services has been subject to a review, seemingly because of business it has conducted in neighboring Pakistan, though a decision has been deferred for now, according to The Wall Street Journal.

IPO and M&A update
CDMA new entrant Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd. , which offers its services under the brand name MTS India, is considering an IPO, according to the Business Standard.

In September 2009, when it had 1.73 million customers, Sistema Shyam was valued at $3.5 billion. The operator ended last year with just over 3 million subscribers. (See AsiaWatch: What Price India's Mobile Market?)

Elsewhere, though, the idea of a public flotation is less appealing. With an IPO looking tricky, the Indian government is mulling a private placement of up to 10 percent of state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) 's equity, according to the Business Standard.

Meanwhile, IT and integration services specialist Wipro Ltd. (NYSE: WIT) is looking at acquisition opportunities in the telecom sector, according to The Wall Street Journal. Apps 'R' Us
2010, it seems, is going to be the year of the Indian operator app store. With Aircel Ltd. having already outlined its plans, Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL) has launched App Central, which offers 1,250 applications that, the carrier claims, can be paid for with a single click that either deducts credit or adds the cost to the user's monthly bill. (See Bharti Launches Airtel App Central and Aircel Plans Mobile App Store, Tower Sale.)

Reliance Communications Ltd. , which has been in the news for a new enterprise wireless data initiative, is planning to open its GSM app store by the end of this month, reports Reuters. (See Reliance Preps $260M Enterprise Data Initiative.)

Telco app stores are likely to be all the rage the world over this year, but they face a number of challenges, according to a new Heavy Reading report. (See Developer Apathy Could Curb Telco App Stores.)

Other recent news from India includes:

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (4) comments


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
LightSpeed Looks to Plug the Gigabit Gap
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/23/2015
Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
Comcast Apologizes to 'A**hole' Brown
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/29/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.