13 million Wi-Max subscribers by 2012

DQW Bureau
New Update


Research firms - Maravedis and Tonse Telecom re-leased a new market study

entitled 'India Wireless Broadband and Wi-Max Market Analysis and Fore-casts

2006-2012' that pro-vides an in-depth review of current regulatory and overall

wireless market trends in India.

According to Maravedis there will be 13 million Wi-Max subscribers in India

by 2012. “More than 70 per-cent of Indian households do not have access to

fixed wired telephone services. Instead, customers have flocked to cellular

phone carriers, which have built a tremendous infrastruc-ture to provide service

to more than 100 million customers,” said Adlane Fellah, Co-author of the

report and Senior Analyst, Maravedis Inc.

For Wi-Max to prosper in

India, license holders will need at least 20MHz of spectrum while they

currently hold 12MHz or less

Sridhar Pai

Co-author of the report and CEO, Tonse Telecom


Broadband services were launched in India in 2005. ADSL services now cover

300 towns with 1.5 million connections while broad-band wireless subscriber

figures are still negligible. In a country where monthly broadband ARPU is

estimated at $8-10, and computer penetration is still at around four percent,

BWA/Wi-Max adoption will depend on low cost end-to-end pricing for connectivity

including the compute platform and CPE. The Indian telecom sector operates in a

volume-driven market. If Wi-Max is to succeed it will only be on the premise of

huge volumes and not small deployments.

“Bharti TeleVentures, Reliance, BSNL and VSNL (Tata Group) have all

acquired licenses in 3.3GHz range and are in various stages of trials and modest

commercial deployments. Maravedis has gathered evidence that larger deployments

will start to materialize in early 2007 but volumes in the millions will take a

few years to materialize. The planned release of additional spectrum will be

critical to this,” explained Fellah.

“However, shortage of spectrum is a serious obstacle for massive adoption

of broadband wireless and Wi-Max in India. For Wi-Max to prosper in India,

license holders will need at least 20MHz of spectrum while they currently hold

12MHz or less. 20MHz is a minimum to support wide scale deployments and hence a

profitable business case,” added Sridhar Pai, Co-author of the report and CEO,

Tonse Telecom.


The government appears to be serious about solving the problem by releasing

some of the spectrum from the departments of space and defense and the TRAI is

currently engaged in a critical public consultation. Wireless adoption is

essential if the government wishes to meet its ambitious plans.

DQW News Bureau Bangalore, July 21