Business Today

After 3G dud operators gear up for 4G launch

Indian telecom operators are desperately working with Chinese and western telecom gear makers to upgrade the current infrastructure from 3G to 4G.

Sanjay Singh | June 29, 2011 | Updated 16:36 IST

Disappointed by the tepid response to its much-publicised third generation (3G) services that has come under severe attack from subscribers for the poor quality of services, Indian telecom operators are desperately working with Chinese and western telecom gear makers to upgrade the current infrastructure from 3G to 4G.

Technically known as Long Term Evolution (LTE) in mobile broadband terminology and branded as 4G, the new infrastructure would require minimal funds for Indian telecom operators who have almost set up the 3G infrastructure. "We have a single RAN (radioactive active network) box where you can upgrade 3G to 4G or LTE to Wimax. Everything is in one box. They will need minimal funds to upgrade to 4G," said a top official with Chinese telecom equipment provider Huawei. The Huawei official said 3G and 4G are basically download speeds.

"There is a demand for faster video download and services from consumers. When you do that now in 3G it creates buffering. That will not be the case in 4G," the official explained on why it was becoming necessary for operators to upgrade to 4G.

The Huawei official said the company is in talks with some Indian telecom operators. "The 3G network is on track right now. In the last six months six to seven operators have placed faith in us," he added. The department of telecommunications (DoT) has also decided to go by the LTE or 4G global roadmap, which is expected to be launched globally between 2011 to mid-2012.

In China, large-scale trials for 4G have already begun by China Mobile. In India, Qualcomm and Huawei have set up a trial network in Hyderabad. The Indian government is also serious about meeting the 4G roll-out roadmap. The director-general of telecom lobby Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Rajan S. Mathews feels that India cannot afford to miss the universal broadband coverage and has to meet the global roadmap for 4G.

Early this month, the French government began auctions for frequencies to build highspeed fourth generation mobile telephone networks needed to keep up with the explosion of Internet-capable smart phones.

Indian operators hope that the LTE would be a smooth transition using core infrastructure of the 2G or 3G networks. According to the vice president (networks) of Bharti Airtel, Puneet Garg, 2012 will be the year that will witness a broadband wireless revolution using LTE, which will change the way people connect to communicate.

"With mass adoption, lowest cost per bit, highest capacity, best user experience and a true global standard, the world is stepping into 4G. We expect 380 million LTE subscribers and 80 plus LTE networks by 2015," said Sujit Bakre, Nokia Siemens Networks head of 4G business development.

The main advantages with LTE are high throughput, low latency, plug and play, an improved end-user experience and a simple architecture resulting in low operating costs. LTE will also support seamless passing to cell towers with older network technology, such as GSM, CDMAOne, UMTS and CDMA2000.

Courtesy: Mail Today 

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