The startup Indian operator Reliance Industries has switched allegiances from WiMAX to LTE. Having successfully completed trials of TD-LTE services, Reliance is now preparing for a commercial launch.
The operator acquired a Broadband Wireless Access licence in June, and was widely expected to deploy WiMAX services. In order to acquire the only nationwide BWA licence, Reliance bought a 95% stake in Infotel Broadband, the startup that won the licence.
With network equipment supplied by Ericsson and ST-Ericsson dongles, the TD-LTE trials were claimed to have reached peak downlink rates of 80 Mb/s, with uplink rates of 20 Mb/s.
An official release from Reliance stated: “This LTE trial not only demonstrated the superiority of LTE-TDD technology but it also strengthened our confidence in the timely availability of LTE eco-system in India with Ericsson’s global deployment expertise. We look forward to leveraging on the pilot to set up a commercial network that will build on a globally standardised eco-system and technology that offers immense potential for a wide spectrum of end-user offerings.”
This statement apparently confirms that the operator has lessened its support for WiMAX in favour of LTE, although it has by no means made a public declaration confirming that it no longer supports WiMAX.
TD-LTE increasingly appears to have gained favour in India, with Qualcomm purchasing a BWA licence in order to promote the new technology – indeed, the firm has stated that it will sell its TD-LTE operations with the condition that the purchasing operator may not use the spectrum to deploy WiMAX – only TD-LTE.