India To Auction Wireless Broadband Spectrum


The Indian government is not very pleased with the allegation that the government is ignoring broadband in India. Telecom minister A.Raja said that releasing spectrum for broadband wireless access might help bridge the gulf between the governments promise of 20 million subs by 2010, and the woeful situation of not even 3 million subs as 2007 (ironically, the Year of Broadband) draws to a close. The government has issued guidelines for BWA services, looking to address the lack of broadband in rural areas:

Spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band is going to be auctioned, limited, however to only Category A ISPs, state owned telcos BSNL and MTNL, and Universal Access Service Licence holders (mostly, private telecom operators). The base price of the auction will be 25 percent of amount for 3G spectrum, and there’s annual charge of 0.5 percent of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR), which may be revised to 1 percent after 3 years. There are rollout obligations, no mergers or reselling of spectrum is permitted. [release]

Frankly, broadband is not 3G or akin the same as mobile telephony, so a similar set of guidelines should not have been set. While prevention of hoarding of spectrum (and licences) is welcome, broadband is a business most operators are struggling with. Rollout obligations – particularly in case of a costly rural rollout – coupled with a price discovery mechanism like auctions, might not find many takers, apart from large telecom operators who are willing to take a punt on wireless broadband.



Damn so many Broadband ISP in India still we are not unto even 100kbps normal connection at low price, IS this the future of India BB

Amitabh Kumar

World is watching US Spectrum Auctions

The Spectrum auctions of 700 MHz are being watched around the world as no auction has ever been. This is for many reasons.
Firstly, this is one of the first auctions arising out of the digital dividend and its outcome will determine what happens around the world in similar situations.

Secondly, many of the new technologies which have recently emerged such as terrestrial Mobile Tv and Mobile WiMAX have been awaiting spectrum in most countries. The new spectrum wins could bring on the scene companies which will use this band for either terrestrial mobile TV or WiMAX systems ( subject to the WiMAX forum approving the 700 MHz band).This band, against many bands at higher frequencies presents best technological solutions for non line of sight( NLOS) transmissions. As the 700 MHz band is populated with high power transmitters, companies providing terrestrial mobile TV or WIMAX will have the advantage of lower number of repeaters and hence high coverage with lower cost.

Thirdly, this band is available in many countries such as India which are also likely to open up the terrestrial broadcasting sector in early 2008.Comanies, regulators and governments in Asia are watching what value can be ascribed to this band particularly in view of new services which can be advantageously provided. What is also being watched is whether the WIMAX forum will accept this band as its next release ( Release 2) of mobile WiMAX for the purpose of device conformances and certifications. The acceptance of the OFDMA-TDD as an approved interface under IMT2000 has placed the governments in some dilemma as to how the 2.3 GHz bands should be earmarked for future use.

All said, these auctions promise to be one of the most important events for the mobile and wireless industries.

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