kumaramitabh 12/5/2012 | 3:34:40 PM
re: India Update: IPO Plan, WiMax Auction Even though the BSNL unions are opposed to the IPO, it may be a compulsion for BSNL as it is required to pay for spectrum at the same rates, which is discovered in the auctions to other bidders in both 3G and WiMAX areas. This together with the countrywide rollout of these services would require considerable amount of funding. Its present and projected cash flows may not support such expanditures.

BSNL holds a good promise for WiMAX as it is the only agency which is truely into rural ( and countrywide ) broadband. Neverthless its equipment procurement procedures would still mean at least a year before the WiMAX networks cover a significant area. Its services, though delayed, are robust once commissioned.

The issue of sales and packaging of the services, customer care and user device support is however entirely a different area. The policy makers have been quite pragmatic in announcing Mobile Virtual Network Operators ( MVNOs) in so far as the cellular mobile services are concerned. This means that an operator like BSNL, with a countrywide footprint can focus on the infrastructure, while letting innovative services being sold through MVNOs.

Such a provision is also needed in the WiMAX area. Virtual WiMAX network Operators ( VWNOs) if licensed can help raise the realization from the infrastructure which is built up and let customers have the pleasure of using innovative mobile multimedia services and new devices.

It is unlikely that any other bidders will deplay Mobile WiMAX in the way BSNL propose to do as the 2.3 and 2.5 Ghz bands are now also open for use in 3GPP networks.

It will be a good move for the regulators to license the WiMax Virtual Network operators.

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