New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANS) Third generation mobile technology (3G), combining telephony and broadband, will be launched in India next year thanks to the boom in telecom services, Communications and Information Technology Minister Dayanidhi Maran said Wednesday.
'As we go forward towards the third generation services, the mobile will not only give the benefit of voice but 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 Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to study the issue and give its recommendations for our consideration,' the minister added.
Maran said 3G would play a major role in developing a variety of services such as e-education and telemedicine, besides offering a far more affordable voice service that will encourage more people in rural areas to become subscribers.
Stating that a target has been set for 250 million phone users in India by 2007 and 500 million by 2010, the minister expressed concern over the dismal penetration of telephone services in rural India despite the country's success in mobile telephony.
'We have a time-bound plan to rollout 2G services in rural India to cover those villages having more than 5,000 population by the end of this year. And by 2007, we plan to cover villages having more than 1,000 population,' he said.
'In India, I believe, 3G will play a key role in taking the country to the next level,' he said. '3G services are taking off exponentially. India cannot afford to be isolated from the 3G wave that is sweeping the rest of the world.'