It’s clear from this interview with Prashant Gokarn, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer for Indosat, that TD-LTE device availability is a big concern in the Indonesian market and Gokarn will be speaking on the subject of “Operator expectations from vendors and from device OEMs” at the 2nd annual TD-LTE Summit, taking place on the 8th-9th April 2014 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore.
How is Indosat’s LTE roll-out progressing?
Indosat has TD-LTE spectrum at 2.3GHz in the Western part of Indonesia (West Java) and has 20MHz of (GSM) spectrum in the 1800MHz band.
On the FD-LTE side of things, our network has been recently modernised and is LTE-ready; we need a simple upgrade to launch FD-LTE on 1800MHz band on our modernised network. We are now looking at the price points for FD-LTE compatible handsets and we continually monitor our device portfolio for the number of LTE compatible handsets on our network.
How important is LTE in maintaining or increasing your competitiveness?
Currently, we have an HSPA+ dual-carrier network operating over three carriers of 3G (two carriers on 2100MHz and one carrier on 900MHz) achieving peak speeds of 42Mbps. LTE is the next upgrade to what is already the leading data network in Indonesia. The importance of the competitive value of LTE will depend on the proportion of LTE handsets on our network; today, the proportion of such handsets in Indonesia is still quite small.
Has the TD-LTE eco-system played out in 2013 how you expected it would?
The TD-LTE eco-system is still evolving, with personal Wi-Fi (Mi-Fi) devices currently the most popular category. From that perspective, the eco-system for smartphone devices still has a way to go.
The 2nd annual TD-LTE Summit is taking place on the 8th-9th April 2014 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure.
What are the major topics that you feel will dominate the TD-LTE agenda in 2014?
The major topics will be availability of a wider range of TD-LTE capable smartphones at different price points and the integration of TD-LTE specialists (typically ISPs) with ‘traditional’ mobile network operators.
Based on the subject of your talk at TD-LTE 2014 do you think vendors and device ODMs could do more for operators?
Absolutely – the device ecosystem still has a way to go before TD-LTE can be a technology with mass adoption in developing markets.
Why is the TD-LTE conference an important date in your diary?
To better understand how the devices and network ecosystem is developing.