Thursday, July 1, 2010

WiMAX Forum urges Indian operators to deploy broadband now

PORTLAND, USA: The WiMAX Forum applauds the Indian government for its recent auction of BWA spectrum, a strong step towards providing broadband access and all its benefits to India’s 1.2 billion citizens.

“WiMAX is ready for Indian operators to deploy now,” said Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum. “Only 9 million citizens throughout India have access to broadband, but within six months WiMAX networks and services could be deployed and commercially available – helping the Indian government to pursue an accelerated path to achieve and exceed their goal of connecting more than 100 million broadband users by 2014.”

WiMAX operators with 2.3 GHz spectrum holdings are among the fastest growing sector in the WiMAX ecosystem. Globally, the WiMAX Forum has tracked more than 50 commercial deployments in this spectrum band and 593 total WiMAX deployments in 149 countries as of June 30, 2010.

Additionally, 2.5 GHz remains a critically important band among WiMAX operators. The large and ever-increasing deployments in 2.3 GHz and 2.5 GHz will serve Indian operators and consumers well as they tap into the volume pricing benefits and rich ecosystem of devices.

Earlier last month, the WiMAX Forum announced that the first 2.3 GHz products gained WiMAX Forum Certified status. The availability of certified products today in both the predominant India frequency allocations of 2.3 and 2.5 GHz ensures a faster time-to-market and enables advantages such as global roaming capabilities. 2.3 and 2.5 GHz base stations and end-user products are all commercially available today and are already deployed in markets across the globe.

“We’ve enjoyed considerable success with 2.3 GHz WiMAX,” said Michael Lai, Chief Executive Officer of Packet One Networks, a subsidiary of Green Packet and a member of the WiMAX Forum Board of Directors.

“In fact, we’re the leading WIMAX operator in Malaysia. With over 170,000 subscribers in the span of less than two years and the country’s fastest growing wireless network, P1 is a showcase of how WiMAX is the perfect broadband enabler for India and the region. P1 WiMAX now covers over 40% of the West Malaysia population. We are the second largest 2.3 GHz network in the world and are on track to deliver our promise of ‘Broadband for All’ to Malaysians. WiMAX also is supported by a mature ecosystem. It is quite simple, this 4G WiMAX technology today is ready to meet the needs of a nation that is thirsty for broadband, a nation like India.”

The WiMAX ecosystem is supported by the world’s leading technology and telecom companies spanning the entire Internet value chain from silicon to content. The WiMAX Forum urges Indian operators to take advantage of this mature, tested technology and powerful ecosystem to bring the benefits of broadband to India through WiMAX as soon as possible.

According to Caroline Gabriel, Research Director at Rethink Technology Research: “The [Indian government’s broadband] plan is badly needed – to give India a communications infrastructure that matches her vast economic potential, and to stimulate social change. The World Bank has identified a strong correlation between broadband adoption rate and GDP, with a 10 percent rise in the former resulting in a 1.4 percent rise in the latter, on average, in developing economies.

“This impact is higher than for non-broadband mobile services. Conversely, for every percentage point of broadband coverage – at prices that spur real adoption – that does not materialize in 2010 to 2012, India’s growth could be held back, with implications for its social structure and its global position.”

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