India going LTE

India is going LTE. Close on the heels of Bharti Airtel’s plans for an LTE roll out in Kolkata, Reliance Industries has announced that it will be rolling out a pan-India LTE based 4G network in 2012.

Mukesh Ambani during World Economic Forum 2007

Image via Wikipedia

Reliance’s choice of LTE as the basis for its 4G offer is significant, ending the hopes of backers of mobile WiMax that their standard could become the basis for services in one of the world’s largest mobile services markets. Reliance has reportedly been trialling TD-LTE with Nordic vendor Ericsson since the early part of 2011.

Currently restricted to data services, Reliance plans to entice customers with tablets starting from $60. It is expected that telecom policy changes will eventually allow companies to offer voice services via VOIP.

It plans to provide data connectivity with speeds of 50-100 Mbps, much faster than 3G services currently on offer, at cheaper prices.

Read more at India set for first 4G services with Reliance Industries in pole and Mukesh Ambani readies plans to roll out 4G data services, low cost tablets in 2012 – Economic Times.

Good week for 4G LTE

Last week was a good week for proponents of LTE. In the US, Sprint announced that its current WiMax based 4G network will be replaced by a LTE based network by 2013. In the UK, initial trials of the LTE based 4G network are underway in Cornwall. And in India, Bharti (the largest operator in India and the 5th largest in the world) was reported to have commenced a LTE rollout in the Kolkata circle.

LTE (Long Term Evolution) holds  great promise as it can enable download speeds of nearly 100 mbps while on the move and stationary download speeds of around 300 mbps. This can enable technology leapfrogging by allowing rapid adoption of high-speed broadband in non-urban areas, without the high costs of fixed line infrastructure.

Read more at Bharti taps China’s ZTE to begin 4G roll-out in India – The Next Web4G LTE broadband trial kicks off in rural UK – The Next Web, and Sprint Is Ditching 4G WiMax for 4G LTE: What It Means for You.