WiMAX in India- Whom do you believe: press or Indian government official?

Business Week called it "A WiMAX Breathrough in India– Tata Communications unveils an ambitious plan to become global leader in wireless broadband by launching the world’s largest commercial network

On Mar. 4, India’s Tata Communications , an emerging broadband wireless service provider, announced the countrywide rollout of a commercial WiMax network in India, the largest anywhere in the world of the high-speed, wireless broadband technology.

Already 10 Indian cities and 5,000 retail and business customers use the product, and by next year Tata will offer service in 115 cities nationwide. The folks at Tata can hardly contain their excitement. "WiMax is not experimental, it’s oven-hot," says Tata’s Prateek Pashine, in charge of the company’s broadband and retail business.

http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/mar2008/gb20080312_47…

But will this really be one of the largest WiMAX networks in the world?

On Friday evening, March 21st, we heard directly from the Indian IT minister Mr. Raja1,  that only 10M WiMAX subscribers were expected by 2011.  That was quite disappointing for a country that has over 1 B residents!

So there is obviously a huge disconnect from what is reported in the business/ trade press and what the Indian government knows.  This seems like more hype for the already way over hyped WiMAX market potential.

 

1. Tamil Manram hosted a dinner reception for Honorable Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Mr. A. Raja. The event took place at India Communicy Center in Milpitas, CA.

0 thoughts on “WiMAX in India- Whom do you believe: press or Indian government official?

  1. I find it interesting that Reliance Communications Group of India choses to expand its WiMAX deployments outside of its home country. They have set up WiMax networks in 18 cities in India, where Tata Communications and state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam are the other major players.

    Now they are planning to set up WiMax networks across 50 countries in the next three years to move into the global telecommunication market. It indicates to me that they believe there is greater WiMAX potential outside of India. Or perhaps, that they would face too much competition in their native land.

    http://www.businessstandard.com/search/storypage_new.php?leftnm=8&a

  2. Comments from my Indian colleagues who now live in the U.S.

    From Manish Gupta of Aperto Networks (leading WiMAX equipment vendor selling to emerging countries):

    “Bangalore and Delhi have certain places live on WiMAX network – w/ Tata. Reliance has some places in Mumbai and Bangalore. That’s it for WiMAX compliant network / devices. Rest is proprietary.”

    Basant Khaitan (colleague and friend for 35 years):

    I”n India , the industry is a few steps ahead of the reality and the government is a few steps behind! It sort of reminds me of the GOGO days in the US telecom industry 10 years ago!”

    Bipin Shah (who also attended the India IT Minister’s talk last Friday):

    “From what I know, there is lot of hype in Tata’s announcement. Until recently there was an issue of the WiMax band release in India because of some overlap with satelite communications. Knowing this, I know that 10 cities as claimed by Tatas are not on any WiMax network. There has been talk about that for Bangalore , Chnnai, Ahmedabad etc but to the best of my knowledge no place has any such installtion.
    So, in this case, believe the govt for now. Next year, could be a different story.”

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