Saturday, April 10, 2010
3G Spectrum Auction Begins In India
Finally, the much awaited auction for allocation of 3G spectrum began on Friday.
India will be among the last countries of the world to get access to 3G technology. The 3G-spectrum auctions, are expected to start a new era in broadband wireless access in the country by year end.
Nearly 132 countries across the world already have 3G technology and mobile services in one form or the other. Even in Africa, 31 countries already have access to 3G. These include countries like Botswana, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sudan etc.
According to industry data, there are nearly 4.7 billion mobile users worldwide, out of which roughly 13% are 3G users.
The first commercial 3G network was launched by NTT Docomo of Japan on 1st October,2001. The second network to go live was SK Telecom in South Korea in January,2002.
The first commercial US 3G network was by Monet Mobile Networks, but the operator had to shut down operations. The second network was from Verizon Wireless in October,2003, followed by AT&T Mobility.
In Europe, mass commercial 3G services were introduced in March,2003 by 3 (part of Hutchison Whampoa) in UK and Italy.
The first African use of 3G technology was in Johannesburg on the Vodacom network in November,2004, followed by the first commercial launch by EMTEL in Mauritius.
The launch of 3G in China occurred on 1st October,2009 to coincide with the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
India officially received its first 3G services through Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) in 2008, followed by BSNL. 3G services by private service providers are expected by the end of 2010.
There are six major telecom firms (Reliance Communications, MTNL, Tata Telecom, Tata Communications, Idea & Bharti Airtel) have started bidding for three pan-India slots across 22 telecom circles. On the first day, the auction yielded Rs.16,000 crore, it's likely to raise at least Rs.30,000 crore for the government and bring high-speed internet, video streaming, television and other next generation services to us.
Source: Wikipedia, The Times of India