India Wireless Broadband - The Story Unfolds

in Blog, 2G, MARAVEDIS, 3G, 4G, LTE, WiMAX

Most overseas vendors and industry forums are finding working in the Indian telecom sector to be no different from the screenplay of a complex Bollywood plot: unexpected twists and turns at every corner but a happy ending always! At least that’s what most industry observers went away thinking after the most dilly-dallied spectrum auctions of the planet finally came to a close this summer. Having said that, perhaps the Indian market is even more complex still, because the surprises never seem to end: a government order against Chinese imports; security screening for equipment/devices; a Defense Ministry ban on the release of 3G spectrum for CDMA operators; an August 31st deadline looming against RIM for opening up their servers; and the list goes on. 

Despite the hurdles, no equipment vendor on the planet wants to stay out of this action-packed thriller. From our recent study covering Indian 2G/3G/BWA licensees the excitement is palpable (see India 4G and Cellular Market Analysis and Forecasts, 2010-2015 - 4th Edition). There is a lot of enthusiasm about launch of 3G services and in some cases there could be a New Year surprise launch, or even a Christmas launch of full-fledged services in select circles. 

Senior executives at Airtel feel that 3G will certainly be a major driving engine as the firm strategizes around business-verticals such as m-healthcare/m-banking/m-music and m-governance to address the 3G opportunity. This could be drawn from the success Airtel saw with their wholesale music app store in 2G, something nobody expected would so quickly become one of the largest channels to distribute music in the country [exceeding 13 million downloads in 4 months]. Reliance Communication has been ready with a corporate strategy built around rich media 3G services accentuated with its latest announcement of jointly working with Nokia’s Ovi engine. We expect a slew of new announcements from 3G licensees in the weeks ahead as they acquire their alliances in place to launch 3G by year-end 2010 or early 2011. We believe NSN has made a breakthrough by landing 3G infrastructure contracts, and announcements could be a few days away. 

On the BWA front, Reliance Industries has raised US$500 million from a Royal Bank of Scotland-led consortium to fund initial BWA network build-out. More operators seem to want to get their expensive spectrum generating revenues now rather than wait for a future solution to kick start revenues a couple of years down the line. The thinking is very much along the lines of WiMAX now and migrating to a longer term option in the future. From our recent report released on August 11th (published in partnership with Tonse Telecom), India 4G and Cellular Market Analysis and Forecasts, 2010-2015  - 4th Edition, we captured similar trends. Some highlights include:

  • The accumulated 3G enabled data subscriber base (notebooks, modems and dongles) will reach 40 million by 2015.
  • The 4G subscriber base including 802.1e and TD-LTE adopters will approach 33 million subscribers in 2015.
  • Over the next five years, a thriving infrastructure 4G base station market opportunity will develop in excess of US$1.5 billion (cumulatively).
  • Innovative device and data bundling packages will become the norm in order to meet consumer and business user requirements.

Download the brochure here or contact us at to order your copy

MARAVEDIS is a leading analyst firm focusing on disruptive technologies including smart networks using WiMAX, IEEE, and 3GPP/LTE. Maravedis works with system and service providers, vendors, regulators, and institutional investors. Learn more at

Share this


We believe NSN has made a

We believe NSN has made a breakthrough by landing 3G infrastructure contracts, and announcements could be a few days away -> looks like NSN will get Reliance Communication ...talking about breakthrough ..guessing