BSNL, MTNL join Aircel in increasing readiness for 4G LTE

17 Aug 2011

In the wake of Aircel’s recent announcement that it has successfully completed trials of Long Term Evolution (LTE) in the country, rival operators Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) are considering setting up LTE-based services in cities, according to Business Standard.

As reported in CommsUpdate earlier this month, mobile operator Aircel and Chinese hardware vendor Huawei recently completed field trial of Time Division-Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) technology over Aircel’s existing GSM/UMTS network using devices based on Qualcomm Incorporated’s multimode chipset. As part of the tests, Huawei and Qualcomm examined a number of live handover scenarios across GSM/UMTS/LTE technologies, while other high speed data services, such as video streaming, were demonstrated using the 4G technology.

Following Aircel’s lead, BSNL’s chairman and managing director R K Upadhyay now says his firm plans to enter the LTE sphere. ‘We will have to continue offering broadband services through WiMAX in rural areas because of various government schemes. But LTE-based services are being looked at for urban areas,’ he said. Upadhyay declined to put a timeframe on a service launch, noting only that it would ‘take some time’ to implement. Meanwhile, BSNL’s sister company MTNL is also considering TD-LTE, the paper adds, saying that following the failure of its plan to find a franchisee for its WiMAX business, it is now planning a new tender – this time on a technology-neutral basis – and to that end has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers as its agent to look for a franchisee and prepare an Expression of Interest.