Wimax the loser in $8b BWA auction

Nicole McCormick
14 Jun 2010
Two clear winners emerged from India’s broadband wireless auction last week: the government and the TD-LTE camp.
The government will net over $8.2 billion from the auction of three licenses in the 2.3GHz band. This is in addition to the almost $15 billion in revenues it secured from last month’s sale of 3G spectrum – double the government’s forecast.
The aggressive bidding in both auctions is a byproduct of India’s chronic spectrum shortage.
But mobile incumbents Vodafone India, Reliance Communications, and Idea Cellular saw sense in walking away from the crazy BWA prices, which is not surprising given their high 3G spectrum fees of $2.48 billion, $1.83 billion and $1.23 billion respectively.
Next to the government, the TD-LTE proponents – led by China Mobile which is pushing the technology as an evolution upgrade for Wimax operators worldwide – emerge as also victorious.
In India, the world’s hottest market for broadband services, the TD-LTE camp now have two aspirants willing to aggressively market the new technology: Infotel Broadband Services and Qualcomm.
Infotel, soon to be a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries (RIL), intends to be a serious mobile broadband player.
The firm will spend $970 million initially on rolling out TD-LTE. This is on top of the $2.76 billion it will pay for spectrum at 2.3GHz across all 22 circles.


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