Ericsson says WiMAX may not work effectively in India

"It is commonly known in the industry that WiMAX requires minimum 30 MHz of spectrum, whereas India is offering only 20 MHz and this may result in severe interference problems," Ericsson Chief Technology Officer Haken Eriksson told reporters.

All leading mobile operators, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, RCom and Tatas along with a host of new players, are participating in the forthcoming spectrum auction of 3G mobile telephony and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA), known for WiMAX technology, beginning next week.

Asked about the availability of LTE, equivalent to 4G technology, Eriksson said, "LTE as technology is already launched, and is just months away from large scale deployments."
On the other hand, WiMAX forum has been advocating that WiMAX is the technology for mobile broadband and it can offer much higher speed of up to 30 Mega bits per second (Mbps) compared to just 14 Mbps in case of 3G technology.

The government is auctioning two slots of 20 MHz each of BWA spectrum for Wimax services and an aggressive bidding is expected as 11 players would be up against each other to grab a slot.

Telecom regulator TRAI has already begun the process of introducing 4G or Long Term Evolution (LTE) in India and both Ericsson and WiMAX forum are claiming to be the better technology supplier for the next generation.According to Eriksson, LTE is a natural evolution of GSM and the CDMA standards as the large global coverage enables easy inward and outward roaming.

"The situation will be similar to the existing difference between GSM and CDMA mobile operators, as WiMAX is estimated to reach a global market share of only one per cent," he added.

The government has taken the right step by deciding to auction 20 MHz of BWA spectrum to bring the benefits of mobile broadband to the Indian masses with its technology neutral stand and it was now for the operators who will bid and retain this spectrum to opt for better technology, Eriksson said.

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