Reliance Industries weighs TD-LTE vendors

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
Reliance Industries (RIL), India's largest company by market value, is reportedly closing in on vendor selection for a $1 billion TD-LTE rollout to re-enter the telecom sector.
 
The company is testing LTE gear from Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei, and expects to finalize the selection in the next one to two months, sources close to the discussions told India's Business Standard.
 
It is unclear whether the operator will split the order or award the whole contract to one company.
 
Services are expected to be rolled out within the six to nine months, starting in India's major cities.
 
In November, RIL revealed it had completed a field trial of TD-LTE in India using Ericsson equipment. The operator said it had achieved 80Mbps downlink and 20Mbps uplink speeds during the trial.
 
RIL acquired wireless broadband spectrum in each of India's 22 telecom circles in June, by paying 48 billion rupees ($1.07 billion) for a 95% stake in spectrum auction winner Infotel Broadband - now Reliance Infotel.
 
RIL has announced plans to invest $5 billion in telecom over the next two years, including $1 billion in rollout capex and around $2.75 billion in spectrum fees.
 
RIL became wholly-owned by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani in 2005, when he divided up the family business with his estranged brother Anil. The latter acquired Reliance Communications in the split.
 
At the time, the brothers had signed a non-competition pact agreeing to keep out of each others' turf. But this pact has now ended, freeing Mukesh to return to telecom.
 
As well as Reliance Industries, Qualcomm is also pushing to establish TD-LTE in India.

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