Ericsson announced this morning that it has won one of the largest deals for deployment of GPON in India with Radius Infratel. I talked about their collaborative pilot project in the past but it was hard at that time to look at this as more than a drop in the ocean. In the 18 months since this pilot was launched, Radius Infratel has confirmed the viability of their model and – perhaps more importantly – has proven that an offering to landlords combined with an open access service model could be designed to get real estate people on board.
The result of this is the announcement we heard about this morning, that Ericsson won a deal for a 600k household deployment of GPON in India with Radius Infratel. The Indian FTTP market was so far focused on the efforts of VSNL, which are hard to properly assess: the company is bullish in its announcements but word on the street (or at conferences) is that achievements may be overstated and challenges underplayed. Whatever the truth is, India is a big, BIG market, and there's more than enough room for Radius Infratel to carve a comfortable niche for itself.
The news is significant for Ericsson as well, who seemed to be relegated to a role of 'last of the big guys' amongst FTTP equipment vendors. For sure, this is only one (big) project for them, but it demonstrates the power of collaborative risk-taking in emerging markets and could perhaps represent a landmark strategy for Ericsson to rebuild its broadband base outside of Western Europe.