Infotel Broadband Services was the only company which had won BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) spectrum in all the 22 circles in India, in the recently held 3G / BWA auctions. Reliance acquired a 95% stake in Infotel Broadband for Rs. 4800 crores soon after the auctions.
Today, Reliance announced that it has chosen to use LTE (Long Term Evolution) for its BWA services across India, instead of the other option, WiMAX. Both LTE and WiMAX are 4G technologies which offer much better speeds than 3G. WiMAX offers speeds up to 40 Mbps while LTE offers speeds of 100 Mbps (downlink)/ 50 Mbps (uplink). LTE is backed by Qualcomm while WiMAX is backed by Intel.
LTE and WiMAX have been fiercely competing for marketshare across the globe. This move by Reliance tilts the scales in LTE’s favor. In the United States, both Sprint and Clearwire offer WiMAX services while Verizon is planning to launch LTE plans by the end of this year.