THE WRAP: Spectrum sharing in India, KT's LTE plans

Staff writer
01 Jul 2011

It was the week that saw India ponder the possibilities of spectrum sharing, as KT revealed its LTE plans and Apple sued Samsung (again).

Indian government officials reportedly said this week that the New Telecom Policy under development by the Department of Telecom (DoT) could allow spectrum allocations to be shared between two or more service providers.

Telecom regulator Trai has already issued recommendations for spectrum sharing, which could help cellcos cope with the shortage of available spectrum. The catch: 2G spectrum won't be included, says the DoT.

Meanwhile, as the government is considering consolidating spectrum use, Bharti Airtel is considering consolidating itself. Reports this week claim Airtel is looking to combine its mobile, broadband, fixed line and satellite TV operations. Analysts expect a restructuring to concentrate on reducing costs and improving convergence in areas including billing and underlying technology.

It was also the week in which Korean incumbent KT unveiled plans to launch LTE in November this year. While that will put it well behind rivals SK Telecom and LG U+, which commenced services today, KT says its launch will be full-on voice-enabled LTE, not the data-only version being launched by the competition.

It was also the week that saw Apple bring its patent lawsuit against Samsung to the latter’s home base. The new lawsuit, filed in Korea, contains the same charges as the suit filed in the US in April – namely, that Samsung's Galaxy line copies substantively from the iPhone and the iPad and therefore infringes on patents and trademarks.

The good news: the dispute may ultimately be settled out of court. Reutersreports that an Apple lawyer has confirmed that executives at the highest levels of both companies are in talks over finding a resolution.

In other legal news for the week, the Thailand Development Research Institute (TRDI) opined that True’s move to get rival Telenor-owned DTAC censured for flouting foreign ownership laws was ultimately doomed because of the numerous loopholes in the country’s foreign business act. TDRI director Deunden Nikomborirak added that foreign ownership rules should actually be relaxed so the firms could form strategic international alliances.

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