TRAI issues Wireless Broadband Consultation Paper

Posted on June 13, 2006  /  1 Comments

Telegeography June 13, 2006

The Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued its highly anticipated consultation paper covering wireless broadband services, including UMTS and WiMAX.

The paper is available for download here [PDF]
The paper has identified two overriding issues concerning the introduction of high speed wireless services – namely, frequency allocation and licence fees. The issue of frequencies is already a hot topic in the market, with the nation’s GSM and CDMA operators clashing over their preferred spectrum for 3G services.

The TRAI had previously proposed allocating spectrum in the IMT-2000 standard 2GHz frequency band, for both GSM and CDMA operators, designed to support both W-CDMA and CDMA2000 1xEV-DO 3G development.

Whilst the country’s GSM operators supported the plan, the CDMA lobby is demanding that the 1900MHz band be made available, saying that there is a dearth of CDMA equipment and handsets available for use in the 2GHz spectrum. The issue of spectrum fees is similarly undecided and the TRAI is asking whether the pricing should be determined by an auction or other bidding process, or be cost-based dependent on the price for redeployment of spectrum. The regulator is inviting comments and suggestions on the paper by the end of the month.

1 Comment

  1. Vacate spectrum for Wi-Max services: DoT tells Dept of Space

    Thomas K Thomas, Hindu Businessline

    Nortel planning to launch Wi-Max enabled mobile phones by early next year

    New Delhi , Aug. 25

    The Department of Telecom (DoT) has asked Department of Space (DoS) to vacate spectrum in 2.5 Ghz and 3.5 Ghz bands for use by telecom operators to provide Wi-Max services.

    The Ministry of Communications is betting big on Wi-Max technology to spur broadband usage in the country.

    The Government has formed a joint venture with French major Alcatel through the state owned C-DoT, to set up a global research and development centre for Wi-Max technology. Equipment vendors such as Nortel are planning to bring Wi-Max enabled mobile handset in the country by early next year. Meanwhile the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is deliberating on the policy to be adopted for allocating spectrum for the service.

    The DoT move comes despite opposition from the GSM cellular camp lead by the Cellular Operators Association of India, which has said that 2.5 Ghz should be reserved exclusively for 3G services based on Wide band CDMA (WCDMA) technology.

    CDMA operators on the other hand are in favour of the move, as it will help in meeting the broadband targets of the Government.

    In India Wi-Max is being seen as a solution to the lack of access to last mile connectivity.

    While BSNL has refused to unbundle its copper network, private operators are banking on wireless technologies such as Wi-Max to reach broadband to the rural areas.