Reliance Aims for January BWA Launch
Reliance has decided to launch the services using its Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) network. The carrier has already conducted trials with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763). It is presently in trials with Nokia Networks and will likely begin a trial with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. next month, according to a well-placed source. Reliance is working with Mumbai-based Rancore Technologies Pvt. Ltd. for planning rollout and access infrastructure development. (See India's BWA Auction Ends in $8.2B Drama, RIL Takes Over Infotel, Reliance Gives Impetus to LTE TDD in India and Reliance Shows Off LTE TDD Ecosystem.)
Our source says the carrier is even open to trying a new business model for this project. "They are considering various options and a prominent one is a revenue-share model with the equipment vendors," says the source. This would be a first and while the idea is thought to bring down the carrier's capex and opex -- or at least spread the risk of rolling out a new service -- it's not clear the vendors would be open to such a deal. (See Reliance Preps for LTE TDD.)
Reliance might not be the first one to launch LTE TDD network in India. Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL) is believed to be working toward October launch. Airtel is said to be launching BWA services for enterprises. A third carrier, Aircel Ltd. , is planning to launch BWA services by the end of the year. Airtel won BWA spectrum in four circles (service areas) and Aircel in eight circles.
— Gagandeep Kaur, India Editor, Light Reading