Friday, June 8, 2012

Reliance to invest billions & big bet on Internet in India - What Technology, Commercial Model???? Questions but no answers..

Source: Reliance AGM

This is the basic necessity for any country in information century. Sadly enough  the country, that generating millions of Software Engineers couldn't offer a decent broadband connectivity to its people. (Ok. also water, clean air, land, sanitation, medicines, etc etc. Wait I shall say it can offer corrupted politicians & irresponsible people). Anyway the point here is about Broadband so let me focus there.

Technically speaking the wireless technology that can offer internet throughout India at cheaper rates is WiMAX. However the Ecosystem is dead for a while.

So what's the choice? Is it going to be LTE?. If they choose LTE, then the challenge is the deployment & commercial model. The LTE mobiles/smart phones are not cheap and if Reliance to build a new handphone, cost is still an issue. If it's high there won't be a critical mass. If it's cheap then it'd impact the experience. Those who used a < $ 200 touch screen smart phone knows what I am saying.

Still Internet is required at homes on Computers & Laptops. So are they going to use LTE for Fixed Internet?. Commercially this doesn't make sense. Today Mobile Operators are doing Offloading from LTE to remain profitable. So how RIL can use LTE for fixed internet ?

Even if they decided to offer as a Fixed Internet, then how they are going to connect it to Desktops/Laptops? Mi-Fi device? But this is going to be extra cost. So RIL can work with Huawei or they can even build their own. Still the cost is not going to be cheap and Mi-Fi with 24x7 (with 10-20 power outages a day) might end up in customer support centers in few months time.

Or a weird thought. Is it going to be based on Wi-Fi at City levels in a mesh interconnected with MPLS backbone? No idea..

Well,certainly I don't have any answers but will try to find out from my contacts in the industry. Will update this post then.

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