Liberty footwear enters telecom; to offer WiMax services

The Liberty group has formed a Joint Venture -- Sunfest Runcom Technologies -- with Runcom Technologies Limited of Israel, and has started negotiations with potential operators, which bagged Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum in the auction held in June.

The JV would be offering end-to-end solutions for mobile broadband using WiMax technology that would progress to Long Term Evolution (LTE or 4G)."The JV has set up a plant in Bawal in Haryana to manufacture Base Stations, Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) both indoor and outdoor and USB Tongs for Broadband Wireless Access and Mobile and Fixed 4G networks (WiMAX–LTE)," Adesh Gupta, CEO and Founder of Liberty group, told PTI.

This will include 2000 Base Stations per month and 10,000 CPE/USB Tongs per month, he added.

Five leading firms, including Reliance Industries, Qualcomm, Aircel and Bharti Airtel are likely to venture into mobile broadband segment and may opt for WiMax technology.
RIL is the only firm, which has pan-India licence for BWA while others had bagged spectrum for limited number of circles.

India has a tele-density of over 50 per cent, but broadband penetration is still poor. The target for this year is to achieve 20 million broadband connections and 40 million internet connections, as per the broadband policy of 2004.

Asked about the business model of the JV firm, Vidhi Gupta, Managment Executive with Liberty group, said, "We would be offering end-to-end solutions for WiMax deployment and would focus on three main areas –- manufacturing, EPC Contracts and System Integration and managed services."

On joining hands with the Israeli firm, she said, Rumcom Technologies has pioneered OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) and NLOS (Non Line Of Sight) technology, which has been adapted by WiMax forum besides other leading operators for offering mobile broadband using WiMax technology.

The company (Runcom) is engaged in developing, manufacturing and marketing superior technological standards and silicon products, fixed and mobile terminals, base stations, ASN gateways, Network Operating Centres and Value Added Services, Vidhi Gupta said.
Currently the JV has lined up an investment of Rs 30 crore to set up the manufacturing facility, Adesh Gupta said, adding that more money would be pumped in as and when the business grows.

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