Speaking with TelecomTiger, Ms. Kaia Ostonen, Solution sales Management, Global, Nokia Siemens Networks expressed her view points on the WiMAX vs 3G debate as well as potential of mobile broadband in India.
Q1) NSN has backed out of WiMAX recently. Why so. Do you feel the technology does not hold potential vis-à-vis 3G/LTE?
Ans: Well, actually it’s not entirely correct. WiMAX in brief if I have to speak is still a part of our strategy-supportive. Infact we were just announcing our plans to bring our own products in the market for the WiMAX. But WiMAX as a technology is still a part of our portfolio.
On the other hand when you are asking about the potential, you have to see that 3G HSPA is the path that approximately 73 percent of the market is adopting right now. So we do see that as a mainstream technology going forward. However, there is still going to be a role for WiMAX in different markets and I am very sure of that.
Q2) Recently Qulacomm said to TelecomTiger that WiMAX in rural India does not provide any viable case study. What are your thoughts on this?
Ans: I don’t have any comments on it. But I would like to give my thoughts on what would make a viable case study in the rural India.
We have made research, where it came out that when it comes to mobile internet, consumers in rural India are even more excited about the potential of mobile internet than the consumers in the urban areas. So, it is now just a matter of what kind of technology is there to bring mobile internet to the rural India. And we do see that as a combination. I think in the longer run, 3G technology is going to be one way of doing it. For starting out, it would be internet services to the consumers.
Q3) What is NSN’s pitch (in terms of technology offerings) to the potential 3G players?
Ans: We are an end-to-end supplier of different technologies. For the consumers of India, we see a big potential out there with the broadband services. And this can already be provided with mobile phone using the EDGE technology. Coming of 3G is going to make broadband even more appealing and that is something which we see holds big promise in India.
Q4) Are you happy with the government’s recently announced base price of Rs 3500 crore for pan-India 3G license? Don’t you think the price point for end consumers may increase due to this?
Ans: Its very hard to comment on this since it is going to depend a lot on the operator’s business case like how they are going to see the service evolving. I heard in the conference last week where we heard what the operators in India are saying, and one thing that they were saying is that it is now about liberating additional value to the consumers, giving them services and so on. In the beginning, it’s not going to be a real cheap service. But with due time, there is going to be definitely a mass market up takes and will be affordable over a time.
But seriously this is I think operators should rather comment.
Q5) How well-placed is NSN in the global 3G space?
Ans: We are the No.1 radio providers. We have 158 wideband CDMA customers. Over 65% of 3G HSPA networks across the globe are served by us. Out of 25 largest networks, we provide services to 18 of them. Definitely, we are the leading providers.