India BWA rollouts worth tens of billions

Dylan Bushell-Embling
07 Sep 2011

Indian telcos are reportedly expected to spend tens of billions of dollars on broadband infrastructure rollouts, and the government will seek equipment and manufacturing partnerships from Japan.

The prime minister's IT advisor, Sam Pitroda, toldBloomberg that it will take a lot of private investment and local-international partnerships to meet the nation's broadband targets.

Operators spent 257 billion rupees ($5.6 billion) in last year's BWA spectrum auction, and will spend billions more rolling out wireless broadband networks.

The government expects the BWA rollouts to help increase India's broadband subscriber base to around 160 million by March 2015, from just 11.9 million as of the end of March.

Pitroda said Japanese companies will have the opportunity to supply equipment for the rollouts, but will likely require a local presence and partnerships to succeed.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority had in July published a report highlighting the opportunities for telecom manufacturing in the nation. It states that presently only around 12% of demand is being met by domestic production.

The regulator estimates that operator equipment capex will grow to a combined $19 billion in 2015.

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