For operators like Reliance Communications that have CDMA spectrum, the advent of 4G will not pose a serious threat as the natural path for technological development is from CDMA to EVDO and subsequently to FDD LTE. [Read the difference between TD LTE Broadband Vs FDD LTE Broadband]
While TD LTE is currently the technology deployed in China, in rest of the world, the movement to FDD LTE would be more rapid. For operators like RCOM with existing infrastructure, the cost of deployment of LTE will be significantly lower than any new entrant planning to launch LTE services. One constraint, however, is the availability of bandwidth; existing BWA players have spectrum of 20 MHz and will be better placed to provide relatively higher speeds. However, the management believes that the speed, although less, will still be sufficient for basic regular usage.
Though data pick-up in the country has been far less than expected, it would happen eventually once the ecosystem develops. Currently, most subscribers do not have 3G enabled phones. In India, fixed line or terrestrial broadband has not developed and hence only mobile broadband can fulfil the needs of the Indian population. RCOM is not subsidizing tablets and accounts for c20% of the tablets sold.
Separately, Reliance Communications is talking to RIL[Mukesh Ambani] for leasing its Passive Infrastructure Tower, OFC and International Connectivity.