Even though 3G is just setting in, Indian telecom operators have begun trials for the fourth generation of telecommunication networks. Recently, Aircel concluded an LTE trial in the country. Now MTNL and BSNL are mulling setting up LTE-based services in cities, according to Business Standard.
In partnership with Huawei and Qualcomm, Aircel conducted an LTE-TDD trial on its existing GSM/UMTS network in India using devices based on Qualcomm's MDM9600 multimode chipset. Huawei said in a Media release, "The success of this trial is a key milestone for the development of LTE-TDD ecosystem."
During this trial, Huawei and Qualcomm jointly executed Inter-RAT (Inter-Radio Access Technology) related cases covering multiple live handover scenarios across GSM/UMTS/LTE technologies as well as services such as video streaming via YouTube, video on demand and high definition video surveillance. These are the key performance indicators of high speed broadband which can be either delivered via LTE (long term evolution) or WiMAX.
LTE can bring speeds of up to 100 Mbps download and 30 Mbps upload, while WiMAX, which is currently being used to connect rural Indian villages, delivers 40 Mbps download speeds. The difference is that LTE has evolved directly from 3G networks, so may be perceived as less of a hurdle by operators looking to upgrade.
In the trial, Huawei's E392 multi-mode USB dongle was used to check interoperability of services and applications, as well as radio access and the efficiency of the core network. Now Huawei reports that it is ready to deploy commercial LTE-TDD networks for GSM operators in India.
There has been a growing loss of faith in WiMAX and more US-based companies are betting on LTE as the future broadband infrastructure. Clearwire, a WiMAX network provider backed by Sprint, is learnt to be raising funding to shift to the LTE standard.