The 3G Momentum has just picked up in China. China Mobile [CM] has continued to expand its TD-LTE trial network, and targets to have 200K BTS by the end of 2013. In 2012, the company expanded the trial to a total of 13 cities. CM’s pre-commercial TD-LTE trials were conducted on MiFi and router devices. Since TD-LTE supply chain is lagging the FDD-LTE supply chain by a year, do not expect the TD-LTE chipset supply chain to mature before 2014 and the Chinese government may issue 4G commercial licenses only by end of 2013. CM will consider focusing on subsidizing the high-end segment only after the launch of 4G / TD-LTE.
China Mobile is faced with the challenge for TD-LTE as it is in the high frequency band (2500-2690MHz), as operators will likely face coverage and indoor penetration issues. Softbank in Japan and Clearwire in the US, have indicated a slowdown in TD-LTE network rollout in recent months. Softbank started to roll out a parallel FDD-LTE network after the company acquired a FDD-LTE spectrum, especially around the launch of iPhone 5, compatible with FDD-LTE. Continue reading How is China Developing on the 4G LTE Opportunity ?
Data from Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) suggests that one third of today’s 96 commercial LTE operators have deployed 4G / LTE using the 1800MHz spectrum in their networks. The benefits are many, as the coverage area is 1.5x – 2x compared with deploying the 2.6 GHz band and there is a possibility of re-using network assets – antenna cables of GSM1800 or WCDMA HSPA 2100.
The Following chart Shows the Advantages of 1800MHz LTE Continue reading 1800MHz Band Matured for 4G / LTE – Will Idea & Vodafone Bid ?
TRAI has released its recommendations on advanced wireless broadband services in the 700MHz band. Key recommendations are,
- FDD to be used in 700Mhz.
- Spectrum available is 698-806Mhz.
- A 45x2MHz configuration recommended in the 700MHz band. This effectively implies that only one operator (new/old) can win the spectrum.
Continue reading TRAI Recommendations on IMT Wireless Broadband in 700MHz – Impractical
Idea Cellular, third Largest Wireless Service Provider in India on the basis of Revenue Market share has some interesting insights to share. The company has a gap between current (34 paise) and headline (43 paise) voice RPM will continue to narrow as promotional offers keep declining at a faster clip with reducing competition.
Idea currently loses Rs 135 mn per day on promotional offers (due to 9 paise lower RPM compared to headline tariff). As promotional offers are being gradually withdrawn (from August 2012), the share of dual SIMs in the industry has been declining (1.15x vs. 1.3x a year ago). Also, with declining competitive intensity, minutes will migrate from marginal players to old operators as price arbitrage reduces. Continue reading Idea Reducing Promotional Offers, Positive on 3G, 4G LTE Only On Right Spectrum
There is a strong industry collaboration between operators, handset vendors and component makers to accelerate TD-LTE momentum. One must note that the focus is on multi-mode solutions, given the majority of operators will launch TD-LTE as an adjunct to another service. LG Electronics noted that it has worked closely with China Mobile and Qualcomm on stabilizing the LTE network.
Intel and Broadcom have announced TD-LTE Modems. Qualcomm has announced its new RF360 chip that offers support for seven cellular modes (including TD-LTE) and all 40 cellular radio bands currently in use.
On the Mobile Handset Side, Samsung and Nokia have committed to a Dual-mode FD / TD-LTE handset due by mid-2013. The Notable support comes from LG Electronics which holds large number of 4G Mobile SmartPhone Patents. LG has demonstrated a modified Optimus G TD-LTE phone at Mobile World Congress. While it did not confirm a launch date, it pledged a full line of TD-LTE handsets for China Mobile, including both high-end and low-end models.
Bharti Airtel Chairman Mr.Sunil Mittal on India’s First 4G LTE Network
- Mittal stressed that TD-LTE will be a key part of the solution to India’s broadband challenge as the fixed-line infrastructure will never be strong
- 3G take off a bit slower than expected due in part to the limited supply of low-cost smartphones – he suggested they need to get handset supply at the USD50 level
- TD-LTE signal propagation at 2.3GHz has been worse than they expected and that the industry needs to come up with cheaper, small-cell solutions to make the technology viable in markets such as India
- Airtel 4G has 20,000 customers on TD-LTE, with no churn, as the user experience is a huge step up from weak wireline services
So if you are a RF / Networking Major, you should be thinking out of the the box to design Small Cell Data Network Solutions for the price sensitive Indian market. Any other thoughts to take the go Affordable Broadband in India ?