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Stanford University Professor Arogyaswamy of the key figures in the evolution of WiMAX
India must seize the WiMAX chance: Paulraj

'WiMAX terminals in India,  cheapest in the world, even cheaper than 3G'.


Broadband will do for business and education, what voice did for the personal convenience and connectivity in India, says Professor Arogyswamy Pauraj, the Indian researcher who is widely considered one of the pioneers of  the wireless digital communications technology, WiMAX.

As India enters the WiMAX era – BSNL launched rural services last week, marking the WiMAX debut  in the country  last week, (  ), we bring you exclusive comments from Prof. Paulraj, on the developments in India, and what it bodes for the future. 
For his co-invention  of ket technologies behind MIMO (Multiple In, Multiple Out), which sharply increases the speed of wireless systems, Dr Paulraj, was dubbed the ‘Father of WiMAX ’ by BusinessWeek magazine last year. Heading the Smart Antennas Research Group at Stanford University, where he has been a Professor in the Electrical Engineeering Department since 1993, Paulraj helped start Beceem Communications and still guides developments as CTO at this Santa Clara and Bangalore-based leader in WiMAX terminal devices.

The Paulraj 'take' on the promise of WiMAX for India:

"It is heartening to see India entering the wireless internet era with the deployment of a WiMAX 16e network by BSNL. Broadband internet can act as virtual infrastructure in India where physical infrastructure development is expensive and will inevitably take time. India currently has only 5.5M broadband subscribers (< 5% of population) all served by DSL and located only in urban areas. Compared to 45% broadband penetration in China and 75% in the US, India has a long way ahead and is at a significant disadvantage in this vital infrastructure. WiMAX is a 4G wireless technology well suited for delivering high speed and affordable mobile and fixed broadband in urban and rural India. The government. is planning to auction another 40 to 60 MHz of spectrum for broadband spectrum in January 2010. This will allow 2 or 3 three private operators to join BSNL for delivering WiMAX. "

R&D base in India

"WiMAX technology is gaining traction around the world with deployments in more than 100 countries. There is a healthy eco-system with the majority of telecom equipment manufacturers supporting WiMAX. . India is fortunate to be the R&D base of Beceem Communications, which now has nearly 70% share of the global WiMAX terminal semiconductor market. There are now more than 120 terminal devices covering Customer Premises Eqiuipments (CPEs), USB dongles, phones and mobile routers. CPEs come in a variety of flavors with voice and data terminations. USB dongles and PC cards allow net and note books to connect anywhere and on the move to the internet, mobile routers enable portable hot spots allowing WiFi devices to connect on the move and of course WiMAX phones.
There are also other vertical market segments such as video security, M2M, healthcare, SCADA and others that can be served by WiMAX through public and private networks. The price points of WiMAX terminals in India are perhaps the lowest in the world and even lower than 3G. This should attract millions of users, greatly accelerating broadband penetration and be a truly transformative technology in India, Broadband will do for business and education what voice did for the personal convenience and connectivity in India ."

"There are many studies that indicate more than 1% GDP boost from wide spread broadband deployment. India must now seize the opportunity to roll out broadband aggressively across the country and capture this added growth. "

December  20 2009