As India is a unique geography with 10 telecom service operators in the country as compared with the global average of three or four, the spectrum made available for the Indian telecom service providers is only one-fifth, to counter this, N Parameswaran, Principal Advisor (Network, Spectrum & Licensing), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) suggested that spectrum sharing should be allowed in order to give a boost to the LTE adoption in India.
The advantages of high data capacity and inevitability of LTE (Long Term Evolution) for mobile broadband and its progress in the country is constrained by poor capital investment amongst other inhibitors.
“This is despite the fact that LTE technology can magnify the data capacity of networks by over twelve times of the present ones”, said N. Parameswaran, from TRAI while speaking at the inaugural session of LTE India 2015 Conference. LTE India 2015 was organized by New Delhi-based Bharat Exhibitions.
According to Parameswaran poor availability of power for the transmission towers, right of way problems and spectrum availability are few major concerns for the growth of LTE in India.
“Projecting ‘IoT in action’ expansion and upgradation of networks for the high capacity new LTE technology is required”, said Arvind Bali, Director and CEO, Videocon Telecom. “The service operators were ready to launch wireless broadband services using 1800 and 800 MHz bandwidth. The issue faced was not of network but was of building up the market” added Bali.
Rajan S Mathews, Director General, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) pointed out that, the Indian telecom service operators were providing data over voice networks despite the poor spectrum availability.” Apart from paying higher international price for equipment, seventy per cent of their investments is for license to use spectrum, yet the Indian operators provides the lowest cost service to the consumers,” he added. Cautioning the country about the poor financial health of the industry, he was critical about the government’s proposal for reframing of services on less efficient bandwidth, which had several cost implications for the already overburdened operators.
Stating that co-existence of different network architectures of 2G, 3G with LTE was possible, Vipin Tyagi, Executive Director, Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) said, “The country would require much larger bandwidth because of the huge concentrated population.” He further added that the operators have been able to exploit advantages of a holistic market, collaborate amongst themselves and promote commoditization of services. Several indigenous technologies are available to reduce cost. He further said that nobody was investing in increasing upload and download speed.
Industry experts felt that 3G investments have not been monetized since three years. The penetration of 3G technology amongst users was limited to 16 per cent of the subscriber base for mobiles.
Moderating the discussions Adrian Scrase, Head of Mobile Competence Centre, 3GPP & CTO, ETSI revealed that device availability for LTE had risen considerably. Participants at the panel discussions included Dr. Avinash Mittal, CIO, Uninor who defined the advantages of the shift to LTE in enriching user experience in mobile broadband.
Making it a truly global platform to conduct business, global majors engaged in wireless broadband technology – Videocon Telecom, Ericsson, EMC, UTStarcom, WIPRO, Anite, F5 Networks, JDSU, Nanocell, Rohde & Schwarz, Keysight Technologies, Anritsu, Commscope, Litepoint, Livingston participated at the event.