Why 4G LTE can never be a success in India : The FactsJuly 23, 2013 • By Neel
There was a time when we humans, used to dream, used to think of something getting true in the coming years that will make the life much more convenient and adorable. Well, the time has gone, we live in an era where most of the things thought are possible. Technology is there to make life much easier to live.
With technology my meaning was “mobile telephony“. A few years ago, mobile phones were meant to be used for making calls, some sort of text messaging and some push-to-talk emails. The time has changed, within these 10 years time, the world of telephonic connectivity has changed drastically.
The whole world is connected through a simple yet known word ‘Internet‘. Now what makes internet a success is determined by two important factors: Data speed and connectivity reliance.
The majority of the world is deploying the fastest yet not the best network data network, 4G LTE. In simple terms, 4G LTE is that technology that gives a mobile user speed upto 100 Mbps and a stationary user speed upto 1Gbps.
Indian telecom operators are also gearing up for 4G LTE launch with Airtel having launched its 4G services in some parts of India. Reliance Jio is having a pan India license and will be launching the services by next year.
Well, lets assume, both the telecom giants as well other operators launch 4G next year but what will be the adoption rate? Will it be a success in India?? Well, truly and factually speaking, it won’t be as Big as compared to other Western countries.
Reasons? Well I have made a short and stout list of the facts that tend to say 4G LTE has no future in India (conditions applied), the list can be found below:
1. TDD-LTE: 4G LTE is a set of two technologies, TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE, with TDD being the oldest and immature technology between the two. TDD-LTE runs on 2300 MHz band, where as FDD-LTE uses different bands (1800, 2100, 2600, 700,800) to operate.
The fact that TDD-LTE is immature and old as compared to the other, major operators around the globe are adopting FDD-LTE for better coverage and hence better speed & lesser deployment cost.
Indian telecom department has asked the operators to use the 2300 MHz band for 4G LTE meaning the network coverage will be poor and the deployment cost will go higher.
2.Smartphone support: As mentioned above, the TDD-LTE is an immature technology and hence as a result there aren’t many manufacturers who provide support for TDD-LTE in their smartphones.
What drives a technology better is the availability of the equipments and support. The indian choose technology doesn’t have any support nor equipments from the world class manufacturers. This is the foremost and the most appropriate reason why 4G can’t be a success here specially when network coverage is poor.
3. Costlier plans and devices: Airtel launched 4G service in Kolkata last year, hoping that the 2G success will be repeated but the costlier plans and devices are not going to help them in this matter. They recently dropped the price but the tarrif is still costlier to most of the Indians. If the plans remain to be the same, it will be easy to say that 4G is not for average Indian users
4. Government Policies: As I already mentioned in the first point, Government of India has compelled the Indian telecom operators to use the 2300 MHz band by not freeing up the 700 MHz band for deploying the better FDD-LTE.
Government is already in talks with Defence Ministry and has decided to held an auction next year to distribute the 700 MHz spectrum to the operators but will it help the operators once they launch 4G on some other, un-useful band? Seems like no!!
5. VO-LTE: Government of India has put the Voice-over-LTE plans on hold for a long time and recently decided to let the operators use the 5MHz frequency band for both LTE and Voice calling.
The major telecom operators have asked for few numbers to trial the service but the result is still unknown and no body knows when VO-LTE or Voice-over-LTE will be possible in India.
This is solely our take and opinion on why the technology fails for Indian consumers. If you wish to add more to the list, just put in a comment, we will be pleased to see more debate on the very topic.