Telecom sector still faces spectrum challenge, says Ericsson official

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on October 09, 2014

Chris Houghton (left), Head of Region, Ericsson India, and ChristianHedelin, Head of Strategy for Business Unit Radio, Ericsson, in New Delhion Thursday. PTI

“What it (Digital India) actually means is that you invest in lot of things like smart cities. But, the infrastructure needs to be taken care of.”

Telecom sector in India still faces a lot of challenges, including spectrum availability and affordable devices, according to Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson said here.

Speaking on the sidelines of ‘Ericsson Connect’, Chris Houghton, Head-India Region, Ericsson, said that in order to achieve and deliver Digital India vision, the Government and industry need to actively partner to tackle the constraints of limited spectrum availability and device affordability.

“What it (Digital India) actually means is that you invest in lot of things like smart cities. But, the infrastructure needs to be taken care of. Challenges such as spectrum allocations are there,” he told reporters here.

Asked about the company’s expansion plans on Global Network Operations Centre (GNOC), Houghton said that India has its biggest GNOC centres and would continue to expand and hire more people.

“The GNOC has grown tremendously in India and we have more people serving from India globally than anywhere else in the world’s centres. We are always hiring people for that,” he said.

Ericsson India has around 20,000 employees and majority of them work out of the four GNOC centres located in Noida, Gurgaon, Bangalore and Kolkata (started in July) serving to more than 400 million customers in 49 countries.

It has also around 1,700 people in the R&D centres.

Other telecom network vendors such as ZTE, Huawei and Nokia Networks have also their GNOCs in India.

Broadband penetration

Meanwhile, the company released a white paper called ‘India 2020: Bringing the Networked Society to Life’. It proposes that the Government’s broadband penetration target of 600 million connections by 2020 can be achieved if sufficient spectrum is made available in a timely way in globally harmonised bands.

According to the report, to fulfil the Indian Government’s vision for broadband inspired growth, operators will need access to more spectrum from the Government and need to build new network capabilities and new revenue models so that a viable, long-term strategy can be evolved.

Smartphone prices are expected to fall by 40-50 per cent over the next three years.

As a result, the number of subscribers able to afford smartphones and services are expected to reach over 700 million by 2020, up from 110 million in 2013, it said.

Published on October 09, 2014
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