& cplSiteName &

Indian Telcos See Red Over Microsoft's White Spaces Plan

Gagandeep Kaur
10/16/2015
50%
50%

During the recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Silicon Valley, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced plans to offer broadband services to 500,000 Indian villages by taking advantage of "white spaces" technology.

White spaces refers to spectrum that was originally awarded to broadcasters but is not in commercial use, typically because it has been freed up in the transition from analog to digital broadcasting. Currently, there is a lot of white space in India that Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) could use to support the rollout of low-cost broadband services in the country's vast hinterland.

Predictably enough, the Indian service providers have expressed outrage at the prospect of an IT behemoth using free spectrum to provide Internet access at extremely competitive prices. According to local media reports, the Cellular Operators Association of India is planning to raise the issue with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). It is demanding the government carry out an auction of this spectrum, since it will be used for commercial purposes. Microsoft, in the meantime, is conducting white spaces trials that involve the DoT.

But Microsoft is not the only company to see potential in white spaces technology. An organization called Whitespace Alliance, which has been collaborating with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Tata Teleservices Ltd. , is also working on a pilot in Palghar district, in the state of Maharashtra.


For all the latest news from the wireless networking and services sector, check out our dedicated mobile content channel here on Light Reading.


Having spent heavily to acquire spectrum, operators are understandably upset about these schemes. Moreover, signals are believed to travel further over white space airwaves -- which generally sit within the 450-700MHz range -- than cellular spectrum, making them better suited to rural deployment.

Indeed, India's mobile operators have largely ignored the rural segment of the market. At the end of June, the penetration of services in rural communities had risen to just 49%, while that in urban areas stood at 149%, according to data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) .

But service providers are undoubtedly planning on turning their attention to the hinterland in future, as income levels rise and growth opportunities in the cities dry up.

If Microsoft is allowed to proceed with its plan, they may have to enter these areas much sooner than originally planned or risk missing out entirely.

— Gagandeep Kaur, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/21/2015 | 8:27:37 PM
Re: White Space Wars
Korr What are the global examples of using whitespaces for broadband access?
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
10/16/2015 | 12:05:15 PM
Re: White Space Wars
But service providers are undoubtedly planning on turning their attention to the hinterland in future, as income levels rise and growth opportunities in the cities dry up.

If Microsoft is allowed to proceed with its plan, they may have to enter these areas much sooner than originally planned or risk missing out entirely.

Not seeing a downside for India here.
smkinoshita
50%
50%
smkinoshita,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/16/2015 | 11:31:41 AM
White Space Wars
This is an extremely complicated situation without a clear moral or tactical stance.  I don't envy Indian Telcos -- Microsoft can afford to play a waiting game in terms of profits from white space that they can't, but at the same time the need is now.
From The Founder
The time has come for a telecom app store to save the industry.
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 Documentaries
Service Provider Panel: Partnering in the Digital Era

5|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Coopetition has always been part of telecom, but the ecosphere now includes data centers, vendors, apps developers, cloud service providers and Internet content providers. This BCE 2017 panel explores the new attitudes among network operators as to the value and variety of ...
LRTV Interviews
Site Demo: AT&T's IoT Flow Platform

5|19|17   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


At AT&T's R&D center in Tel Aviv, Israel, project leader Eyal Segev talks about the operator's Flow platform and how it helps to prototype IoT applications.
LRTV Documentaries
Agent of Change: A Q&A With AT&T's John Donovan

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson talks with the man leading AT&T's transformation efforts about the challenge of change.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE Service Provider Panel: The New Business Realities

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


For virtualization to happen, the telecom industry first has to grapple with key functional aspects of SDN and NFV that need to be universal, such as onboarding of virtualized network functions and federation of software-defined networks.
LRTV Interviews
BCE Service Provider Keynote: CenturyLink

5|16|17   |   22:32   |   (0) comments


Aamir Hussain leads the Product Development and Technology organization at CenturyLink, which includes the company's information technology function. He is an experienced senior technology executive with more than 25 years of proven success in the implementation of global technology operations, operationalization of complex technology, infrastructures and business ...
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink CTO on Transformation

5|16|17   |   7:43   |   (0) comments


The 50-year-old telco has already gone through several transformations, including every time it made an acquisition, but its purchase of Level 3 coupled with changes in technology and customer expectations necessitates its biggest transformation yet.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2017

5|15|17   |   5:05   |   (1) comment


Find out who made it into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Interviews
Site Visit: AT&T's Tel Aviv R&D Center

5|15|17   |   09:58   |   (1) comment


Nir Shalom, general manager and VP of application development at AT&T Israel, talks about the key service developments undertaken at the AT&T R&D facility in Tel Aviv and how the team there has adopted new ways of working.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Act on Your Intelligence With Amdocs aia!

5|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Amdocs CMO Gary Miles explains how communications service providers can seize the AI opportunity with Amdocs real-time digital intelligence platform.
LRTV Interviews
Logtel CEO: Making Sense of IoT

5|15|17   |   09:48   |   (0) comments


Jacques Bensimon, founder and CEO of Tel Aviv-based training and consultancy Logtel, talks about the need to make IoT more than just a buzzword.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Challenges of Mobile Banking Implementation

5|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Kamal Quadir of bKash Limited explains the challenges and needs of implementing mobile banking in the Bangladesh market.
LRTV Interviews
Tel Aviv: A Hub of Innovation

5|10|17   |   07:58   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre and Dan Allen discuss the technology innovation, food and amazing sights they witnessed during a recent trip to Israel.
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
BSS Is BS, Says KPN Tech Boss
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/16/2017
AT&T's Donovan: Women Adapt Faster Than Men
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 5/18/2017
Verizon on M&A: Who Needs a Cableco?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/17/2017
Standardization Needs Room for Innovation
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 5/17/2017
Fright Wigs & Cocktails: BCE 2017 in Pics
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 5/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Animals with Phones
What Brogrammers Look Like to the Rest of Us Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.