Moto Preps Low-Cost WiMax Devices for India

In an effort to increase its market share in the Indian market, Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) is to develop a range of low-cost WiMax devices that will complement its existing infrastructure portfolio and give it a complete, end-to-end offering for WiMax service providers in the country.

Motorola hopes to unveil the products in time to win business from the operators that secure BWA (broadband wireless access) spectrum in the country's coming auction, which will begin two days after the end of the current 3G spectrum sale. (See Bids Flood In for India's Spectrum Auctions and India 3G Auction: Day 21 .)

"We are going to launch a set of low-cost WiMax devices, which will cater to the Indian market. We are talking to the Indian operators, not just for infrastructure but for devices as well. So it is a complete ecosystem of infrastructure and devices that we are working on," the vendor's country head for Home and Networks Business, Subhendu Mohanty, tells Light Reading Asia.

The majority of Motorola’s WiMax products for the India market are developed at Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Mohanty declined to discuss the potential prices of the devices, but said they are likely to become available before the end of the year, by which time it should be clear how many of the BWA spectrum auction winners are planning to use their slots for WiMax. Of course, Motorola isn't the only vendor eyeing the post-auction opportunities. (See Convergence India: Alvarion Eyes WiMax Growth.)

Initially, the devices are likely to be available through service providers only. "Operators want us to launch the devices through them. We would be bringing in CPEs [customer premises equipment devices] and dongles in the Indian market," said Mohanty.

Motorola’s focus on WiMax implies the company isn't gearing up to play a major role in India's 3G market. "In 3G we would be looking at selective opportunity in India. We believe that the way forward is broadband and 4G [WiMax and LTE] technology." (See Moto: WiMax & LTE to Coexist.)

The vendor is currently involved in WiMax trials with two operators in India and believes its focus on WiMax and Long Term Evolution (LTE) will help it regain some ground in India, where Motorola, which recently announced it is splitting into two separate businesses, has lost significant market share during the past two-to-three years. (See Moto Shuffles Ahead of Split .)

— Gagandeep Kaur, India Editor, Light Reading

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