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Telsima, a small Silicon Valley-based WiMAX player has nailed what is certainly its biggest deal and could, considering the number of potential end customers, be the biggest WiMAX deal ever. The company said that Tata Communications has launched broadband wireless services to about 5,000 users based on its WiMAX platform for residential and enterprise customers.
“We’re currently the sole supplier of end-to-end equipment for their WiMAX network,” said Wolfgang Mack, chief marketing officer for Telsima. “So far we’re deploying 3,000 base station sectors throughout India focused on the top cities. They’ve begun service in the pilot stage and have paying customers today.”
India has about 1.2 billion residents but only about 3.1 million of them have broadband capability. WiMAX, which can be deployed quickly and covers wide swaths of landscape wirelessly, is seen as a quick way to satiate the country’s broadband hunger.
Tata Communications could not make spokespeople available to discuss the rollout, but a Telsima news release said the initial phase would offer broadband wireless data services to customers in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalor, Channai, Hyderabad, Cochin, Chandigarh and Kolkata.
“We expect 200,000 subscribers by March 2009 across 15 cities,” said Mack. “We completely focus on WiMAX. We make WiMAX base stations, WiMAX enabling software for RF planning, network management, subscriber provisioning and the pieces subscribers provision themselves.”
The technology is also mobile, although Tata will not initially use it for mobile voice, Mack said, leaving open the possibility that once the nation’s users have become accustomed to wireless broadband data that the networks could be used for mobile voice.