The vendor Alcatel-Lucent has stated its belief that commercial LTE deployments may take place in India as early as 2011.
“I think [Indian LTE] will happen very soon... If one is an optimist, I think in the third or fourth quarter, at the latest, of next year you are going to start to see the commercial deployment of these networks,” said Alcatel-Lucent Asia president Rajeev Singh-Molares.
India’s 3G auctions only took place this year, and many operators have only just begun offering 3G services. However, the success of a recent TD-LTE trial by Indian startup Reliance Industries provides a reminder that many operators also hold a licence to provider services over Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum.
Bids for BWA spectrum were separate from the 3G auctions. Typically used for the operation of WiMAX, it can also be used to deploy TD-LTE. Singh-Molares notes that this ‘version’ of the more widespread FDD variant of LTE is likely to be adopted by “most, if not all” of the new BWA networks.
Qualcomm has been a driving force behind the deployment of TD-LTE over BWA spectrum, and is aiming to begin offering services in 2011 over the 20MHz of TDD BWA spectrum that it won at auction. It has implied that it will sell its TD-LTE operations to a local operator, but has made no secret of the fact that it aims to “accelerate deployment of LTE in India.”