TD LTE gains momentum in India

TD LTE is gaining momentum in India now that nationwide license holder Reliance Industries has indicated it plans to build out a network based on the technology.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Ericsson demonstrated a TD LTE network. But according to Heavy Reading senior consultant Berge Ayvazian, commercial TD LTE networks won't be ready until the second half of 2011, as it is about a year behind WiMAX and the FDD version of LTE.

"I still think Indian operators will have a hard time launching a commercial BWA service using LTE TDD until the second half of 2011. This may just mean they will delay until then," said Ayvazian.

Qualcomm, which paid $1 billion for BWA spectrum in four service areas, believes at least one or two operators will launch TD LTE networks in the second half of next year.

"The Indian operators will finish the 3G launch by March next year and we would be demonstrating interoperability with 3G in the second quarter of the coming year. Ecosystem will be ready then. We expect one or two operators to launch in the second half of the coming year but the actual launch may be dependent on the operators," president of Qualcomm India and South Asia Kanwalinder Singh told Light Reading Asia.

Still, Ayvazian believes a movement toward TD LTE doesn't spell the end of WiMAX in India, as a deployment could vary by service area and operator. "For example, Reliance may select a few rural circles for WiMAX deployments to deliver low-cost broadband, taking advantage of the current cost and maturity advantages of the WiMAX base stations and devices. But in major cities (the operators) will deploy LTE TDD, even if it delays service rollouts," he said.

For more:
- see this Light Reading Asia article 

Related articles:
Qualcomm names partners for Indian TD-LTE venture
Report: Qualcomm in talks with Indian partner for TD-LTE JV
Qualcomm looks to drive TD-LTE via India
Qualcomm's intentions in India could shake up WiMAX's potential foothold 
India's 3G auction set for April 9, 4G auction to follow