The 3G ecosystem (handsets/content) is developing rapidly in India. However, the cost structure is still very high compared to the average ARPU of Wireless Subscribers of Rs 180.
The whole new market which 3G Operators are targeting is – Data Services / Wireless internet. Qualcomm estimates data as % of revenues to increase to 30% by 2016 (from 15% currently) and expects smartphones to show 233% growth in India from 2010-2015.
Qualcomm has recently launched multi-mode TD-LTE devices by Huawei, ZTE, Quanta and Bandrich using MDM9x00 chipsets. Vendors indicated that most of these devices are commercially available (others will be available by the end of 2011) and are already shipping. The advantage of Multi-Mode Dongles is that they are compatible with Telecom Operators 3G Network [FDD, UMTS, GSM, CDMA] without requiring fresh BTS installations or tweaks.
In India, Bharti Airtel will likely go the TD-LTE way as soon as Spectrum Trading Rules are out by buying out Qualcomm’s Spectrum. Reliance Industries may launch TD-LTE Services as soon as they get control of Fiber Infrastructure where the elder Ambani is using all possible means to get back control of Reliance Communications.