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GSMA Calls for Additional Radio Spectrum Across India

25 июня 2010

­The availability of 3G and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) licences in India will help accelerate the much-needed deployment of Mobile Broadband networks and services across the country, and will be instrumental in helping the Indian government to achieve its ambitious target of 20 million broadband subscribers by the end of this year, the GSMA announced today.

However, with the absence of fixed line infrastructure, additional low frequency spectrum in the digital dividend band (700MHz) should also be licensed to operators to deliver Mobile Broadband across India's vast rural areas due to lower costs and quicker time to market as a result of less infrastructure build out. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), 70% of the Indian population reside in rural areas, and of the country's current 9 million broadband subscribers, just 5% are based outside major cities.

"To meet the growing demand for Internet access, the Indian government needs a comprehensive band plan strategy that will enable operators to roll out services in both highly populated and rural areas," said Jaikishan Rajaraman, Senior Director at the GSMA. "This is best achieved through a combined frequency plan: low frequency spectrum, such as the digital dividend, is ideal for rural and in-building coverage; high frequency spectrum, like that recently licensed in the 2.1GHz and 2.3GHz bands, and the yet-to-be licensed 2.6GHz band, is ideal for ensuring coverage and capacity in densely populated areas."

The widespread availability of Mobile Broadband, particularly if digital dividend spectrum is licensed in the medium term, will herald a new era of social inclusion across India. Nationwide broadband connectivity will fuel innovation across all sectors of the Indian economy, promoting services such as e-government, mCommerce, telemedicine, financial services and e-learning techniques, as well as enabling India to build on its existing strength as a major global ICT force.

Rajaraman continued: "The Indian telecoms market has been a story of intense competition, amplified by the lack of fixed line infrastructure. The deployment of Mobile Broadband across the whole country will change this and go beyond merely providing enhanced application and network performance. It will also offer a catalyst for business model innovation, driving change in how services are delivered and how revenues are generated. The potential for India is enormous, but will only be realised if spectrum is available and allocated equally to urban and rural areas."

Following India's recent spectrum auctions, seven mobile operators are now licensed to deploy HSPA technology in the 2.1GHz band, with a further six companies successfully securing BWA spectrum in the 2.3GHz band, which can be used to deploy LTE technology.

Источник: Cellular news

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