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3G is way to go -- but do IT fast!

2-year delay has cost India $ 16 billion, says GSM Association
 
 
The allocation of  the 2.1 GHZ spectrum is a matter of urgency if third generation mobile broadband services  are to become a reality in India, feels the GSM Association,  which represents the interests of  750  plus mobile operators in in over 200 countries.  Quoting a recently commissioned report by the  London-based analysts LECG *,  GSMA's  Senior Director, Services, Jaikishan Rajaraman told a media round table in Bangalore, June 6, that the delay of about two years in allocating spectrum for 3G services  has already cost the nation the equivalent  of $ 16 billion in  gross domestic product (GDP).   When the  3G subscriber base reaches a level of  100 million   the economic benefits alone will  amount to  the equivalent of $ 80 per annum per head, the report says elsewhere.
 
"India is ready  for mobile broadband  can can reach this number ( 100 m) by 2015", Mr Rajaraman said -- but  this will require that licenses to operators must be issued before the end of the year, he added.  While urging the  allocation of the 2.1 GHz spectrum, he also cautioned that  the planned  distribution of the spectrum at 5 MHz per circle  might run out in the very first year itself -- which is why the GSMA is suggesting that additional spectrum in the 2.6 GHz band and then in the  698-806 MHz band that is likely to be released when ever India shifts from analog to digital TV  should also be earmarked.

Sridhar Pai, CEO of Tonse Telecom, a leader in Telecom Intelligence,  who took part in the roundtable, suggested that  Indian operators might be inclined to harness any 3G bandwdth they can get to enhance their 2G customer  network before they roll out true broadband services.
 
India's first  trials in 3G(High Speed Packet Access or HSPA) services have already been  carried out successfully  by Ericsson in 12 villages around  Chennai under the Gram Jyothi programme ( http://hspa.gsmworld.com/upload/papers/documents/26052009105212.pdf )
 
Other countries in the region have  upgraded their mobile services into broadband at phenomenal speed:   the Sri   Lanka network has grown  407 percent in two years, the one in Indonesia has grown at  656 percent, GSMA statistics reveal.  India   whose current broadband penetration is less than  5 percent will reap rich rewards by going the 3G/broadband way, Mr Rajaraman said...  a ten percent increase in broadband penetration  can deliver a GDP increase of anything from 0.1 to 1.4 percent.
 
Over 236 commercial nets  in104 countries    are poised to serve   2 billion  users by 2014.  Will the next new broadband  networks  come  from India.   Not if but when and how soon -- that's the GSMA's take on the scenario here -- with a subtext which  says 3G is  the best of the current competing technologies to make it happen.
 
The full  LECG report can be found here:
 
http://www.gsmworld.com/documents/Report_GSMA_LECG_Feb09.pdf
 

( Anand Parthasarathy in Bangalore June 8)




    


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