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.