India Plans Huge WiMax Deployment

The ambitious deployment plan aims for 20 million broadband connections in the next two years. 

Tata Communications of India plans to install and deploy a WiMax network across 115 Indian cities within the next two years. With a price tag of $100 million, the goal is to establish 20 million broadband connections.

The Indian broadband market currently serves only 3.1 million customers in a nation with a population of more than 1.2 billion.

"WiMax enables broadband services in a cost-effective, decentralized manner in India where a majority of the country is not covered by wired infrastructure," Shankar Prasad, president of Tata Communications' Retail Business Unit, said in a statement.

Prasad said the scale of unmet demand, coupled with an emphasis on connectivity for education, will "ensure that WiMax broadband networks will thrive in this market."

In the initial phase of the project, Tata's WiMax network will offer broadband Internet access and content services to enterprise and residential customers in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Cochin, Chandigarh and Kolkata. By the end of this year, Tata plans to offer WiMax retail broadband service in about 15 cities.

Tata picked Telsima, of Sunnyvale, Calif., to provide WiMax solutions for the project, including base station and subscriber station systems, customer provisioning system and the network management system.

"Inflection points create new winners", Telsima CEO Alok Sharma said in a statement. "WiMAX combines disruptions in radio frequency and Internet Protocol technologies to support new cost structures that enable the proliferation of wireless broadband telecommunications services into new markets."

Telsima has supplied some of the largest WiMax-certified deployments in the world, with more than 10,000 base station sectors and 100,000 modems sold to Tier 1 operators in India, Eastern Europe, Russia and Africa in 2007.