A global debate is still on, but most experts consider technologies like WiMAX close to fourth generation (4G) services, offering better speeds than 3G on GSM networks. It is constrained by the fact that it does not provide enough mobility currently and experiments are on in some countries to offer full mobile voice and data service on such networks.
Intel to be in talks with leading Indian telecom companies like Tata Communications (formerly VSNL), Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications that could bid for broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum to be auctioned by the government in January 2010.
Talks are currently centered on Intel offering Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access or WiMAX (which provides for wireless transmission of data and up to 75 Mb/sec speed) technology one of the popular BWA technologies to the operator.
Intel also plans to follow a grouping approach in India to roll out WiMAX-based broadband services in India, similar to its approach to the US and other markets, including Japan, where it has partnered with the likes of Google and Sprint.
The Department of Telecommunications recently released the information memorandum to auction spectrum for third generation (3G) and BWA services.
Last December, state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, had invited bids from potential franchisees to provide mobile WiMAX to its customers in 16 circles last December.
Around 28 companies, including majors like Intel Technology India, Alacatel-Lucent India, Motorola India, Moser Baer Industrial Infrastructure, Huawei, HCL Infosystems, Larsen & Toubro Infotech and TCIL, figured among those who bought the tender documents.
The government hopes that by auctioning BWA spectrum, broadband through wireless technology would spur growth.