Infotel Broadband Services Ltd, winner of Pan India BWA Spectrum is now 95% owned by Reliance Industries Ltd led by Mukesh Ambani. Reliance told us that,
A single 20 MHz TDD spectrum when used with LTE (Long Term Evolution) has the potential of providing greater capacity when compared to existing communication infrastructure in the country.
This means that Reliance will take the LTE route which is a severe blow to the WiMax Lobby.
As regards BWA auctions, there is not yet a supportive eco-system for WiMAX services in India in the form of devices and network equipment and support. Also, voice services over mobile WiMAX are not yet proven and this technology currently supports data services more than voice. WiMAX is an emerging technology and globally, operators appear to have a more favourable view on Long Term Evolution (LTE), the major competing 4G technology for WiMAX. LTE itself is evolving and so far, only one operator – TeliaSonera – has commercially launched LTE services in Oslo (Norway) and Stockholm (Sweden), even though in terms of major operator commitments, telcos like Verizon Wireless, NTT DoCoMo and AT&T among many others are expected to commercially launch LTE services, with data from the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) suggesting that upto 19 LTE networks will be in commercial service by end-2010.