The sorry saga of WiMAX in India continues. We think India is vitally important to the health of the mobile WiMAX industry as it is potentially the largest emerging market for that technology. China has shown no interest in WiMAX and is pursuing their homegrown 3G technology instead. So that leaves India as the kingpin for WiMAX deployment in developing markets.
For background info, please refer to: http://viodi.com/2008/08/11/wimax-in-india/
It seems we’ve been duped again. Having been told by the Indian government that the much anticipated auctions for 3G and Broadband Wireless Access (e.g. WiMAX) licences were imminent, we now hear that they have been delayed further. In fact, they may now not take place until early 2009 (but don’t bet on it).
India’s IT and Telecom minister, A Raja has already announced the delay in the 3G auction process due to some strange reasons such as December being too full of holidays. We met Mr Raja in March 2008 (Tamil Manram arranged dinner meeting with the "Honorable Minister for Communication and Information Technology" at the India Community Center in Mipitas, CA). At the time, Mr Raja (who spoke mostly in Tamil) was not very enthusiastic about WiMAX and did not even mention it in his prepared remarks. It was only as a result of my question that he forecast the number of WiMAX subscribers expected by 2010, which was reported on it in Viodi View:
The hold up now appears to be a result of the Indian government failing to clear the relevant radio spectrum in nine circles, or operating regions, out of India’s total of 22 such regions. Apparently, there are issues of getting the spectrum cleared from defense services using the 1920-1980MHz band, which was to be auctioned off. The Indian defence forces have yet to vacate their spectrum for commercial use in nine circles: Delhi, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, East Uttar Pradesh and West Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, North East and West Bengal. Will they do this by year’s end to clear the path for an early 2009 auction? Don’t hold your breath.
For more on this topic, please refer to the following articles:
For WiMAX in India, we are now are compelled to ask: Can you believe what the Indian government says about the timing of the auctions? What do you think? Please comment below.