No decision yet on new players’ participation in auction
MUMBAI: The much-awaited and equally delayed guidelines for launching third generation (3G) and WiMax services is likely to issued by the government in June, leading to telecom companies launching these services by January, telecom minister Andimuthu Raja said on Friday.
3G wireless networks allow operators to transmit data, voice and video at high speeds, enabling internet services on mobile devices.
Hence data heavy operations like high speed internet surging, streaming videos on hand held devices etc would become a reality.
Experts believe India can completely skip the wired broadband internet access generation, which has been showing paltry growth due to last-mile connectivity issues, by moving to wireless 3G and WiMax.
Raja said since existing telecom operators are 3G ready, hence no additional infrastructure would be needed.
The government is likely to set a level playing field for domestic and overseas players. “If there is common (3G spectrum) or open auction, then there will be no bar. Either way foreign players will be permitted,” he said. The government is still undecided on whether new players should be allowed to participate in the 3G auction, he said.
While the government is keen on having a global bid for 3G spectrum because it believes this step would bring more money and increase competition, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India want competition to be limited to the existing players, who can tie up with foreign players for technology and funds.
3G services are likely to be initially auctioned only for the metro circles.
Operators buying the rights will have to tie up with local players controlling other circles to provide roaming services.