& cplSiteName &

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        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
Cisco's Patel Hails 'Microculture' Successes
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/26/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
AT&T's Margaret Chiosi Retires
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.