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4G LTE in India Paves the Way for RCS

August 28, 2015





A recent industry analysis of India's 4G LTE (News - Alert) market shows that the Asian country is presently one of the hottest markets for new installations. This is drawing telecoms to the area that want to get on board the growing infrastructure.

According to an article at Zacks.com, a total of 9,674 mobile sites have been installed in India to date. However, even recent growth has not brought the country out of its infancy. By 2020, Zacks says of an Ericsson (News - Alert) mobility report, that growth could become truly substantial with 40 percent of the population expected to be latching onto 4G speeds.

This period of strong growth will require the aid of original equipment manufacturers, infrastructure developers, and other communications companies and telecoms to get on board. That will likely not be a problem because many operators already have their hands full with 3G and are looking forward to such development. The biggest telecom service provider in the country, Bharti Airtel (News - Alert), should lead the charge of 4G LTE deployments in its direct support of Nokia which has already received a $200 million contract from the telecom. This comes in addition to the 30 deals Nokia (News - Alert) already signed in the first half of this year. Compared to the 35 total deals it signed in the whole of 2014, this could be a banner season.

Equipment manufacturers such as Ericsson and Huawei are also poised to take advantage of this quickly-expanding growth. The proliferation of 4G LTE will make services such as voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) possible. VoLTE, which uses data packets to manage voice calls, is just the first stage of what data-driven mobile can bring. Rich communication services (RCS) such as video calling and messaging, conferencing, and content sharing can make their way into telecoms' packages that they can deliver to customers at a moment's notice.

These types of services are not just interesting for individual consumers, they can become important for business operations as company officials want to connect with employees and other business associates. Effective mediums for communication now include high-definition voice, but the addition of mobile video and conferencing features can make virtual meetings just as effective as in-person meetings. Only 4G LTE speeds can handle video's demand for bandwidth in this situation, so the growth of RCS will depend entirely on the growth of 4G LTE.

This will be the time for interested parties to watch the actions of Bharti Airtel and its competitors Vodafone India, Reliance Communications (News - Alert), and Idea Cellular which all reportedly have plans to launch their own services within 2015.




Edited by Dominick Sorrentino
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