4G connections in India to reach 100 mn by 2020: Ericsson

Barcelona, Mar 4: India will have more than 100 million 4G connections by 2020 and 3G will remain main technology to drive mobile broadband growth for next three years, Ericsson India head Chris Houghton said here today.

"In India, we expect 3G to remain the main technology to drive mobile broadband growth at least for next three years. We do expect to see an uptake of 4G around 2016-17 with the 4G numbers going to over 100 million by the year 2020," Houghton told reporters here.


Ericsson President and CEO Hans Vestberg said, "LTE (4G) subscriber growth will exceed 80 per cent; and world mobile broadband coverage will be above 70 per cent."

He said to achieve this growth, Indian telecom operators need more spectrum and further strengthen their network. India started spectrum auction today putting frequencies worth around Rs 82,000 crore on offer.

"Right now India's challenge is spectrum. There is huge amount of unlicensed spectrum. We have come up with licence assisted solution using which operators if they want can have licenced spectrum for controlled services to meet regulatory requirement and then use unlicenced band to offload traffic," Ericsson Global Head for Business Unit Radio Arun Bansal said.

Houghton said India is today the most expensive place for spectrum. He said that solutions that are adopted in the country are doing well abroad.

"The Ericsson psi solution provides 3G coverage and reduced costs. It has been shown to reduce power consumption by up to 40 per cent compared to earlier installations with same coverage. This translates into a 240 watt power saving per site or 550 litres of diesel saved annually.

"The new base band that we have launched can handle high traffic compared to our competitors. The other part where India can efficiently use spectrum is through sharing," Bansal said.

He cited example of spectrum allocated to government organisation who do not use spectrum all the time. "Suppose Defence has spectrum but they are not using it say for a week then there spectrum can be utilised for commercial purpose. India can work on this aspect," he said.

Ericsson here announced that it will focus on IT services as well apart from telecom network equipment as modern high speed networks will need content to drive network usage.

"Keeping with the new trends being observed the company was putting a fresh focus beyond its core Business into areas like Cloud (computing) and IP (internet based network), industry and society, media transmission and OSS BSS (operation and billing softwares," Ericsson Chief Strategy Officer Rima Qureshi said.


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