Finally, there’s some good news coming from DoT, who is likely to auction the 3G spectrum in New Year. This has been announced recently, in a memorandum released by DoT and likely date of auction would be 14 Jan; if all goes well.
So after settling down the differences with FinMin, & good amount of negotiations with Cabinet Ministers, DoT has finally given green signal to 3G auction. Certainly, the Telecom Minister A. Raja is more than careful this time, after political maneuvers started pulling his legs over 2G Spectrum Scam, in recent time.
According to memorandum released, there will actually be three separate auctions for three different frequency bands: 2.1 GHz, 800 MHz, and 2.3 GHz. The first auction, which will start on January 14, will be for up to 20 MHz of paired spectrum in the 2.1 GHz band, referred to as the “3G auction.” Then two days after that auction ends, the auctions for 800 MHz and 2.3 GHz will start. The 2.3 GHz auction, called the “Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) auction,” will include two blocks of 20 MHz of unpaired spectrum, which is suitable for WiMAX.
There’s lot of hype surrounding the 3G auction in India and many players have debated over the need & RoI on 3G rollouts. According to one estimate, there are likely to be 90 million 3G subscribers in India by the end of 2013. It is also believed that 3G will open more channels of revenue generation for telecom operators in India, who are struggling to contain falling ARPU figures and revenue loss. According to this Business Standard report, even Google might look BWA spectrum as entry point into lucrative Indian Telecom Market. Whatever is the business associated with 3G/BWA, we hope that these NGN technologies will help Indian masses in communicating better and cost effective way- the long cherished dream of DoT.