Speedier than 3G, Wi-Max to be launched by April 2007

By SiliconIndia   |   Monday, 18 September 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Early next year, India will be home to the launch of yet another technology in the fast evolving field of communication: the launch of consumer premise equipment (CPE) for enabling Wi-Max-based broadband services. The C-DOT Alcatel Research and Development Center in Chennai is all set to roll out the first such equipment by April 2007.

Incidentally, Wi-Max is touted to be a fourth generation technology that offers data speeds higher than 3G services. The research center set up last year is planning to roll out 10 million units a year from its manufacturing unit in Chennai.

"We are awaiting the spectrum policy of the Government since the components used in the CPE is based on the frequency bands. We hope to launch the product by April 2007. This will be priced at about $100 a unit for the retail users," said R. Poornalingam, Chairman, C-DOT Alcatel Research Centre Private Ltd
The Government believes that this technology will be a boon to its efforts of pushing broadband penetration in rural India, as it offers low-cost solution as an alternative to copper cables at the last mile.

Alcatel would look at tying up with another company for marketing once the product was ready, said Poornalingam.
The CPE is required to catch the radio signals to transmit and receive data on a PC. However, with the present scramble for spectrum for launching 3G services in the country, the bandwidth issue could pose a problem while CPE’s launch. Poornalingam said that ideally, the Government should allocate 700 Mhz or 2.5 Ghz frequency band for offering Wi-Max services.
1,000 employees man the Chennai center. While French telecom equipment manufacturer Alcatel owns 51 per cent, the balance is with the Government owned C-DOT.

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