Posted: May 1, 2013

The first edition of the 4G World India conference and expo, held at Gurgaon’s Epicenter on April 25-26, 2013, saw electric atmosphere and participation from the entire ICT community. Organized by UBM India, the two day event saw collective participation of more than one thousand exhibitors, delegates and speakers—discussing the best way to monetize 4G networks, optimize 4G services, and leverage mobile devices and applications for profit.

The event was started with a huge response to the inaugural session comprising of Keynote address by Arvind Bali, CEO; Videocon Telecom and Exclusive Telco Business Leader Roundtable: 4G- enabling the next wave of telecom growth in India; and Operator presentation by Abhay Savargankar, Chief of Network Operations, India and South Asia, Bharti Airtel. The opening session witnessed the participation of major telcos and Government PSUs and it was attended by over four hundred delegates and industry experts.

Speaking at the 4G World India, Arvind Bali, Director and CEO of Videocon Telecommunication said that the company plans to roll-out networks in some selective circles initially. Bali added that device ecosystem is one of the major challenges for 4G in India and device availability and cost will catalyze the ecosystem going ahead.

“Demand for data is growing rapidly in the country and there are challenges to address the growing data demand In the long run.  Networks would need to incorporate small cells and WiFi to overcome these challenges,” Abhay Savargaonkar, Chief of Network Services – India and South Asia, Bharti Airtel

In his presentation, Abhay Savargaonkar, Chief of Network Services – India and South Asia, Bharti Airtel, said that the demand for data is growing rapidly in the country and there are challenges to address the growing data demand. “In the long run, networks would need to incorporate small cells and WiFi to overcome these challenges,”. Bharti is the only operator to have launched the 4G services in the country. It has launched services in Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune and Chandigarh.

The leaders concluded the session with a call for collaboration between various stakeholders of the industry to develop mobile broadband ecosystem in a way where all the resources could be used optimally, resulting in better return on investment.

Industry advocates spectrum at right price

The second session of the day included presentation on Mobile Backhaul from Michael Nielsen, VP-Packet Networking, Ciena communications; and Panel discussion on Regulatory and spectrum Issues.

The panelists for regulatory session included eminent experts like Anil Prakash- Secretary General, ITU-APT Foundation on India; Satyen Gupta, Ex- Principal Advisor, TRAI, Hon. Secretary General, NGN Forum; Vikram Tiwathia, Associate Director General, COAI; and Mahesh Khera, President, Broadband India Forum. The panel was moderated by Vikram Tiwathia. The panelists opined that the spectrum availability is going to play a significant role in achieving the scale in 4G services.  Earlier in the day, a similar opinion was shared by Dr CS Rao of Reliance Communications, who said that “Spectrum should be provided to the telcos at the right price. Further spectrum harmonization is also required.”

One of the highlights of the first day of the event was a presentation by Atsuhisa Shirai, Director, International Roaming, Global Business Division, NTT Docomo. It was of special interest for the Indian telcos since NTT Docomo is one of the few players globally to have launched 4G services. The day concluded by technology sessions on 4G RAN, HetNets, Wi-Fi and small cells; 4G Network evolution and monetization and Next generation packet core and backhaul.

New growth areas and challenges

After the blockbuster first day, the first session of started with Robert Sewell, Head of Technology Solutions, Aircel giving keynote address on the best way to monetize 4G networks in India, followed by  highly engaging presentations from Gulzar Azad, Head of Access, Google India; and Steve Northridge, Product Marketing Director, Oracle Communications.

During his presentation at 4G World India, Gulzar Azad, Head of Access, Google India, says that the broadband cannot be scaled unless the country manages to scale fixed infrastructure. “It is going to be more and more challenging [scale the mobile broadband]. There are number of issues with quality which are also suppressing the demand,” Azad says.

“The broadband cannot be scaled unless the country manages to scale fixed infrastructure. It is going to be more and more challenging [scale the mobile broadband]. There are number of issues with quality which are also suppressing the demand,” Gulzar Azad, Head of Access, Google India

It was for the first time that the conference covered the device ecosystem as well, which is considered to play an important role in the mobile broadband revolution. While discussing the 4G roadmap, Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO of Datawind says that, big screen devices will drive more video consumption, which is crucial for driving the 4G growth.

 

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