Tag Archives: LTE

Did Apple throw AT&T under the bus cuz there is a CDMA iPhone on the way?

5 Jul

In its ‘letter regarding iPhone 4‘ Apple wrote everything but admit that there is a genuine reception issue problem with the iPhone 4. Instead, it put the blame on its sole carrier partner in the US (AT&T) by implying that users were facing dropped calls and network bars disappearing because they might be in an area with poor network reception. Judging by the number of complaints that we are reading about, it seems that would be across the country and not just some pockets.

Now why would Apple do that to its exclusive partner. Why now, after three iterations of the device have made the iPhone the most popular smartphone ever. Why now, when Apple knew since 2007 that AT&T’s network was being overwhelmed by the traffic its iPhone toting users generated and whatever the carrier did was just not enough to satiate the data guzzling smartphone?

Till now Jobs and company were content to simply smirk when people complained about AT&T. But never did they go to the extent of blaming the carrier for the poor reception quality of Apple’s “best iPhone yet.” But now they just did.

So here’s what I think: Apple is on the verge of closing a deal (or might have already inked it) with Verizon Wireless, AT&T’s closest rival that uses a competing CDMA network known for its strong reception and data throughputs. Verizon already has a robust EVDO network and is on the verge of launching an LTE network (4G) in the US.

Apple has done its bit for AT&T (and vice-versa, as it is believed that Apple first approached Verizon for the iPhone but the carrier at that time refused) and now it seems the right time to move on from their exclusive relationship. Verizon will offer Apple a new set of customers to sell the iPhone to and also offers the company a future growth path.

On Verizon, Apple could first launch an EVDO version of the iPhone later this year or early next year and tap into its millions of subscribers who just could not switch to AT&T but were dying to use an iPhone. Then, in late-2011 or early-2012, Apple can launch an LTE version and then keep adding new features just like it did with the GSM iPhone. A simple 2G version in 2007 (iPhone), a 3G version (iPhone 3G) in 2008 and progressive feature improvements in 2009 (iPhone 3GS) and 2010 (iPhone 4).

A move like that would not only give Apple a bigger addressable market in the US but also help it secure more carrier partnerships in other countries like India, where CDMA carriers are yet to get a ‘killer’ smartphone that would enable it to keep its high value customers interested in their services.

That is what I think. What do you think?

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.

Mukesh Ambani acquires Infotel, to offer Pan-India LTE services

12 Jun

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has acquired a 95 per cent stake in little-known company Infotel that has won BWA spectrum in all 22 circles in the just-concluded BWA auctions. “RIL will invest about Rs 4,800 crore by way of subscription to fresh equity capital at par to be issued by Infotel Broadband. Post this investment, RIL will own 95% of the equity and Infotel Broadband will be a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited,” the company said in a statement.

RIL is backing LTE and not WiMAX for its services. “A single 20 MHz TDD spectrum when used with LTE (Long Term Evolution) has the potential of providing greater capacity when compared to existing communication infrastructure in the country,” the statement said.

What’s peculiar about Infotel is that it does not have any 2G or 3G spectrum to offer voice services. This makes it very likely for Infotel to join hands with another carrier (or carriers) as it is the only company to have a Pan-India BWA licence.

Why Qualcomm is bidding for a BWA license?

17 Mar

Earlier today, we reported that Qualcomm has put in a bid to acquire a Pan-India license to TD LTE in the 2.3 GHz Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) band. Qualcomm also held a press briefing in the afternoon today to explain what it means.

At the outset, if the bid is successful, Qualcomm will tie-up with an operator partner (or partners) to conform with India’s FDI norms that allow a foreign entity to hold up to 74 per cent in a telecom carrier. Qualcomm, Then at an “appropriate time” Qualcomm will exit the venture.

While it might sound odd for Qualcomm to announce that it aims to eventually exit a venture that hasn’t even taken shape, it is clear that the chip maker doesn’t want to be a wireless carrier. Instead, Qualcomm wants to ensure that TD LTE scores over WiMAX when Indian carriers look out for the next stage after 3G.

“It is not 3G or BWA, we are talking about 3G and BWA. Unlike WiMAX, which is not interoperable with 3G, TD LTE will be the right technology for successful 3G bidders. Qualcomm is here to ensure that operator investments are futureproof,” said Kanwalinder Singh, president, Qualcomm India and South Asia and senior vice president, Qualcomm Inc.

Qualcomm, with its Pan-India license (provided it gets one), will build an TD LTE network and a complete ecosystem (devices) over a period of five years and demonstrate to carriers with 3G spectrum why they should go for TD LTE, a technology developed by Qualcomm.  It has developed a chipset for mobile devices that is compatible with both 3G and LTE. The chip maker will make money by earning royalties for every device sold that has its chip. 

Apple iPhone

8 Jun

We expect the price drop on the current generation to $99. A new phones with video editing and streaming capabilities to be priced in the $199-$299 range. Hope the new phone is with Verizon and not AT&T. But either way it is ok.