WiMAX push in India

As we have pointed in several stories, India is big on WiMAX. The most recent news is that Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL), India's largest provider, would roll out fixed wireless networks in six Indian cities and four rural districts in the State of Haryana. The roll out will be completed in January, and the gear is provided by Aperto Networks. Among the six cities where service will be offered are Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Pune--four important technology hubs in which many non-India companies have operations (for example, Microsoft and Google).

Note that Aperto is also an equipment supplier to VSNL, a rival of BSNL, which is building fixed-wireless network in 65 cities on the subcontinent, and which is planning to extend the network to more than 200 cities.

As Om Malik points out, there is much WiMAX activity in India: Intel and Alcatel have WiMAX trials underway or planned in several cities; Indian ISP DishNet already has consumer-oriented fixed wireless network deployed in eight cities 9; Nokia will start selling WiMAX gear in 2007, and Motorola is planning to do the same.

Analysts estimate, perhaps optimistically, that India will have some 13 million WiMAX subscribers by 2012, meaning that we are looking at a $4.5 billion sector by then. An interesting twist: India preferred 3.3-to-3.4 GHz for WiMAX; globally the preference is for the 2.5-to-2.69 GHz band.

For more on WiMAX in India:
- see Om Malik's GigaOM discussion

MORE: Aperto has much work in India, and it is bullish on the Asian WiMAX market--so much so, in fact, that it is planning to shift its manufacturing base from Taiwan and Mexico to India. The move of manufacturing to India will reduce the cost of Aperto's BTS and CPEs. Report

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