Interview with Derek Long, principle consultant – LTE, Ericsson India

Derek_Long_Ericsson“In the next 12 months, we will see 4G LTE launched in major cities…”

We have seen 4G pilots happening in India for a long time but when do we see commercial deployment of 4G LTE?
There are various factors contributing to the delay. First, 4G license was awarded when mobile data was unknown. Second, both 3G and 4G auctions happened in quick succession as both technologies happened at the same time. Third, ecosystem in 2.3 GHz for TD-LTE was unknown in 2010 and it was relatively small as this was beginning of LTE globally. 2.3 GHz was a WiMax spectrum which was reallocated to LTE. Fourth, in last four years, we have seen investment in 3G and it is successful as both 3G subscribers and data traffic have increased in terms of consumption. So, the focus is on how to provide economic data service as there is a huge demand for data services in the country and wireline is only suited for big cities whereas for other cities it is predominantly mobile technologies.

When do we see 4G LTE launches in major metros and all 22 telecom circles of India?
In the next 12 months, we will see 4G LTE launches in major cities and within 3-4 years we will see 4G LTE launch in at least one city in every telecom circle of India.

Do we see managed services deal in 4G LTE during the initial stages of 4G LTE launch?
The spectrum of services that we provide includes: integration and network design; optimization; and managed services. The vendors are not only responsible for initial set up but also maintains quality of 4G LTE network. From day one, we will provide integration and some form of network optimization. Managed services will depend upon the type of operation.

Which all operators are you working with respect to 4G LTE in India?
We are working with all operators. Right now we are providing technology and network implementation.

Worldwide, Ericsson is very strong on M2M. Are you providing some M2M solutions for Indian operators?
We have some engagement with operators on M2M and we are working on industry verticals like: transport and utilities but it is not so intensive. In the transport sector, we are working with car manufacturers as they believe they can provide additional service to customer apart from maintenance of car.

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