Develops in-house application to offer voice, video, data

Reliance Industries’ owned Infotel Broadband Services Ltd is all set to launch its fourth generation (4G) technology-based broadband services in Mumbai, Delhi and Jamnagar.

For this the Mukesh Ambani promoted company has developed an application that will offer voice, video and data services on the same platform.

“Infotel Broadband has deployed all its resources to R&D in perfecting high definition quality voice over Long Term Evolution (LTE) with the help of in-house team of young and bright people. This will permit consumers to experience unified communication using single device and using our own built application platform,” the company said in a communication to the Department of Telecom.

Though the company did not disclose the exact date of the launch, it has sought numbering resources from the department, which is an indication that the network is in place.

“At this stage, we are ready for our initial trials for deployment of TD-LTE technology at Mumbai, Delhi and Jamnagar,” the company said in the letter.

Indigenously developed

TD-LTE is a fourth generation technology that promises broadband access at really high speeds which is required for services such as streaming video, live TV and heavy data.

Airtel has already launched services based on this technology in Kolkata, Bangalore and Pune.

But market watchers said that RIL’s strategy seems to be different from other Indian players as it is investing in developing its own systems and platforms.

Globally, operators such as NTT DoCoMo in Japan have adopted a similar gameplan successfully which has allowed it to control the ecosystem better to offer specific services to consumers.

“At present Indian operators are dependent on third party developers or over the top players such as Google and Facebook for applications and value added services.

RIL’s strategy seems to be based on putting in place its own platform for content and applications,” said a telecom analyst.

challenges

One of the challenges is that the LTE technology is relatively new and hence devices are not cheap. Airtel, for instance, is selling 4G dongles at Rs 5,000.

Smart phones and tablets will therefore be much more expensive.

The other problem is that the 2,300-Mhz band on which the services will be offered, is not considered to be very efficient when it comes to coverage.

There have been reports that RIL is working on some innovative solutions to address these issues.

Though RIL is known to execute big projects, it is yet to be seen how it will pull off the telecom puzzle.

Thomas.thomas@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on October 28, 2012)
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