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DoT scraps plan to auction 3G for CDMA players

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    Post DoT scraps plan to auction 3G for CDMA players

    DoT scraps plan to auction 3G for CDMA players
    Seventy one million CDMA mobile subscribers face an uncertain future with regard to the availability of third generation mobile services. Even as the Government is close to finalising the policy for 3G services for GSM operators, the Department of Telecom has dropped plans to auction spectrum for CDMA players.

    The DoT has also not specified any alternate method for allocating spectrum to CDMA operators, according to the draft policy.
    While the DoT had earlier proposed to auction bandwidth in 800 Mhz and 450 Mhz (frequencies used by CDMA operators globally for 3G services), the revised draft guidelines make no mention of the same. According to the draft, DoT is planning to auction spectrum only in the 2.1 Ghz band, which is the frequency for GSM-based operators.

    While GSM-based operators will use the WCDMA technology for offering the 3G service, CDMA players will use the EVDO technology. Each of these technologies operates best in a specific frequency band. For instance, WCDMA technology operates best in the 2.1 Ghz band, EVDO needs 800 Mhz or even 1900 Mhz and 450 Mhz.

    Different treatment
    Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices, Sistema-backed Shyam Telelink and State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd are the major CDMA operators in the country. Senior DoT officials said that the spectrum for these operators will be treated differently wherein they will be asked to pay a fraction of the amount quoted by the GSM counterparts for 3G services. However, the problem with this formula is that DoT has only 2 slots in the 800 Mhz band and there are four operators to accommodate. “This formula would have worked earlier when there was only Reliance and Tata as pan-India CDMA players. But now two more operators have come in and therefore the best option would be to go in for an auction,” said a CDMA industry expert.
    Seek clarity

    CDMA operators have, meanwhile, approached the Government seeking clarity on their future road map. One of the options proposed by the operators is to allow them to use the existing bandwidth for offering 3G services. All the four CDMA operators have spectrum in the 800 Mhz band, which they are currently being used for offering 2G mobile services. Some part of this can be dedicated to offer 3G services. DoT has so far blocked this option on the grounds that it will disturb the playing field with GSM players. The other option is to find capacity in the 450 Mhz and 1900 Mhz frequency bands and allocate it to the operators
    The Hindu Business Line : DoT scraps plan to auction 3G for CDMA players

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    cool_don
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    When 3G technology will come in India ...............

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