Reliance Gives Impetus to LTE TDD in India

Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) showcased the results of the first field trial of Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) mobile broadband technology in India on Monday. (See Reliance Shows Off LTE TDD Ecosystem.)

For the trial, ST-Ericsson dongles connected over the air to the base station, and the network achieved peak rates of 80 Mbit/s on the downlink and 20 Mbit/s uplink.

“We look forward to leveraging on the pilot to set up a commercial network that will build on a globally standardized eco-system and technology that offers immense potential for a wide spectrum of end-user offerings," Reliance stated in a press release. In separate mobile broadband news from India today, Ericsson and one of Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM)'s LTE venture entities in the country, Wireless Broadband Business Pvt. Ltd., demonstrated LTE TDD mobility at 2.3GHz in an outdoor environment. (See Ericsson, Qualcomm Demo LTE TDD in India.)

Why this matters
This news is going to be a disappointment for the WiMax camp in India which was hoping against hope that Reliance would decide in its favor, rather than plump for LTE TDD.

Reliance is the only operator that got a pan-India BWA (broadband wireless access) license in the recently concluded auctions. The company's choice is likely to influence the decisions of the other operators who have yet to select a technology for BWA spectrum.

Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL), Aircel Ltd. , Vodafone India , and Tikona Digital Networks Pvt. Ltd. are some of the other winners of BWA spectrum in India. None of the other winners have decided on the technology but Reliance's decision in favor of LTE TDD might result in an LTE wave in the region. (See All WiMax Eggs in Reliance Basket, WiMax, 3G to Dominate India's Broadband Future, Will Qualcomm Sell Its BWA Spectrum in India? and India's Still Hot for WiMax, Says Forum .)

For more
For more on LTE versus WiMax in India, check out these stories:

— Gagandeep Kaur, India Editor, Light Reading

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