Wireless infrastructure vendors have been pinning high hopes on Indian 3G following the slowdown in China’s 3G rollout, but actual contracts have been delayed by disputes over government security rules.
Now the gates may be opening at last - Nokia Siemens has announced the first 3G deal in the country, with Tata Teleservices.
This comes despite the fact that Tata, along with Reliance Communications, was cleared last week to purchase equipment from Chinese suppliers Huawei and ZTE.
Although this ruling signalled the end of the frustrating delays over security rules, some western rivals may be disappointed they have to compete with their price-aggressive Chinese rivals on an apparently almost level playing field in terms of clearance requirements.
NSN - which has walked away from certain 2G deals because of the intense price war in India, claiming they would be loss-making - is leading the way in 3G, where the suppliers hope for a greater services component and slightly higher margins.
The joint venture beat Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and both Chinese majors for the deal to supply W-CDMA base stations plus implementation support.