India's telecom watchdog suggests base price for 3G

By Indo Asian News Service | Wednesday, September 27, 2006 | 9:18:51 PM IST (+05:30 GMT) Comment 0 Comment

New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANS) India's telecom regulator has suggested a base price of Rs.800 million ($17.5 million) for allocating frequencies in Delhi and Mumbai to launch third generation (3G) mobile telephony in the country.

New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANS) India's telecom regulator has suggested a base price of Rs.800 million ($17.5 million) for allocating frequencies in Delhi and Mumbai to launch third generation (3G) mobile telephony in the country.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman Nripendra Misra said while the base price of Rs.800 million has been fixed for Mumbai and Delhi, the other two metros of Kolkata and Chennai would invite Rs.400 million.

For other areas, the recommendation is for Rs.150 million, the TRAI chief said here Wednesday.

The telecom operators will have to bid for frequencies over and above the base prices for spectrum allocation, Misra said, adding that the government should be able to collect a minimum of Rs.14 billion from the exercise.

A set of three frequencies, 450 mhz, 800 mhz and 2.1 ghz, have been recommended for allocation.

This next generation technology combines mobile phone services with broadband to offer a variety of products like e-education and telemedicine besides making the extension of telecommunications in rural areas affordable.

'We are delighted that the regulator has recommended a comprehensive approach to spectrum allocation, which is a welcome end to the piecemeal spectrum allocation policy,' a statement by mobile telephony major Bharti Televentures said.

'The reserved price, however, seems very high, even if we were to consider the limited available spectrum,' the statement said, adding: 'We appeal to the DoT to review and lower the threshold recommended.'

Earlier in the day, Communications Minister Dayanidhi Maran said that India would get 3G services by the latter half of 2007 after studying the suggestions made by the telecom regulator.

'As we go forward towards the third generation services, the mobile will not only give the benefit of voice but also the advantages of broadband connectivity,' Maran told a conference on 3G technology here.

'We should be able to launch 3G services by the latter half of 2007 and I have requested the TRAI to study the issue and give its recommendations for our consideration,' the minister added.

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