Wednesday, 24 December 2008

India gets ready for 3G

So here comes 3G in India. It’s been long coming as the data needs were increasing rapidly in almost all the Indian states. With the existing cellular infrastructure not capable of holding huge traffic particular for data, arrival of 3G was imminent.

The Indian Department of Telecoms (DoT) has published its official timetable for the award of its 3G licences across the country as well as a breakdown of how the relevant spectrum will be allocated across the telecoms circles.

As expected, the state-owned operators BSNL and MTNL each have been reserved one block of 2x5MHz in each circle, with the exception of Rajasthan (State in North West India) which will have no 3G spectrum at all. The number of blocks of spectrum in the private auction differs depending on the circle (see the spectrum table, below).

The auction for the 15-year licences is planned for Jan. 15, 2009. In the majority of 3G service areas there is 25 MHz of paired frequency bandwidth available which relates to four blocks of 2x5 MHz spectrum available for auction in addition to the block reserved for the state-owned operators, Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL). Spectrum is rather limited in many other areas, including the major metro circle of Delhi where only two 2x5MHz blocks will be available to private operators.

All of the 3G spectrum will be in the 2.1 GHz band and in the 2.3 GHz and 2.5 GHz frequency bands, a separate auction for Broadband Wireless Access (WiMAX). In both these auctions, which will take place two days after the 3G auction, bidders are restricted to just one block of spectrum per service area.

The table below shows the proposed spectrum layout.


Service Area (Indian Cities or States)

Paired frequency bandwidth to be allotted

Paired frequency bandwidth to be allotted

Delhi

160

15

Mumbai

160

25

Kolkata

80

25

Maharashtra

160

25

Gujrat

160

15

Andhra Pradesh

160

25

Karnataka

160

25

Tamil Nadu

80

25

Kerela

80

25

Punjab

80

25

Haryana

80

25

Uttar Pradesh(e)

80

25

Uttar Pradesh (w)

80

10

Rajasthan

0

20

Madhya Pradesh

80

25

Bengal

80

25

Himachal Prades

30

25

Bihar

30

25

Orrisa

30

25

Assam

30

25

North East

30

5

Jammu And Kashmir

30

25

5 comments:

Nadeem Akhtar said...

If one goes by news in Economic Times, the auction date is going to be pushed back further. See http://all-things-telecom.blogspot.com/ for regular updates on the 3G in India.

Ashwin said...

But with huge amount of upfront tax, I heard many foreign players are backing out... Do you think this will affect the scenario?

Devendra Sharma said...

I think people will be very much keen to get these 3G licenses even with the huge amount of upfront tax. Everybody knows how big the indian telecoms market is going to be. With most of the europe being a saturated market and with the clear signs of demands of high data rates in India it's worth to tap the indian 3G market. Most of the big foreign player will leave no stone unturned before they back for financial reasons.

Devendra Sharma said...

Nadeem thanks for your comment and mentioning the auction date being pushed back. I wouldn't be very much surprised if this happen after knowing how things can sometimes do not happen at right time in India

dhall said...

I was just reading about the deadline for the 3G auctions. Take a look at what I found:
http://www.telecommagazine.com/newsglobe/article.asp?HH_ID=AR_4679