Qualcomm to demonstrate live LTE network in India by 2010-end

12 Jun

Qualcomm would be a very delighted company right now. Not only did they win some of the best circles – Delhi, Mumbai, Kerala and Harayana – in the just-concluded BWA auctions but the lone Pan-India BWA spectrum holder, Infotel, backed Qualcomm’s LTE technology and not WiMAX, a rival technology backed by Intel.

In a media briefing held in Delhi a few hours after the provisional BWA auction results were announced, Kanwalinder Singh, president, Qualcomm India and South Asia, senior vice president, Qualcomm Inc tried to convince journalists that LTE as a technology is ready. “To dispel any doubts about LTE, we will have a live LTE demonstration in India before the end of this calendar year,” he said.

However, even if Qualcomm demonstrates an LTE network by the end of 2010, handsets that can run on GSM, WCDMA and LTE (or CDMA/EVDO and LTE) won’t be available till later next year, when US carrier, Verizon Wireless, is expected to announce one. While LTE USB modems will be available much earlier, Qualcomm’s vision of seamless interoperability between three generations of wireless technology won’t come true till those handsets are available.

Even before the auctions began, Qualcomm had clarified that it has no intentions of becoming a carrier in the long run and will eventually exit the venture. It will announce its Indian partner (as required by Indian laws) for the LTE network in about a month’s time and will look at carriers who have won 3G spectrum in last month’s 3G spectrum auction.

“Our intent is to partner only with carriers who have experience in 3G/HSPA networks. We will tie-up with one or more carriers. We don’t have any competition from any carrier in India. They are our partners,” Singh said.

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