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India allocates bandwidth for 4G services

Government officials assigning 700MHz for offering fourth-generation telecommunications services after resolving most issues concerning spectrum's availability, says report.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

Operators in India will soon get to bid for a piece of the local 4G pie after government officials decided to free up the 700MHz airwave for offering 4G-related telecom services.

According to report by the Times of India on Tuesday, the government will be freeing up the bandwidth after the information and broadcasting ministry, which had earlier laid claim on it, decided to relinquish control over the airwaves.

Communications Minister Kapil Sibal added in the report that "three of the four issues" relating to the 700MHz bandwidth had been resolved. This band is considered to be very efficient and might help the government generate more revenue than when it auctioned off its 3G airwaves. India received 67,000 crore (US$14.6 billion) during the auction in 2010, he noted.

The news would come as a boost to the country's telecommunications industry as 3G services have not really taken off. An earlier ZDNet Asia report stated that while telecom operators began launching 3G services in late-2010, consumers have been complaining of patchy connections and slow speeds.

Kamlesh Bhatia, research director at Gartner, said in the report that there is nothing wrong with the technology, but the problem lies in the spectrum which was very limited. Operators got only 5MHz of spectrum, as opposed to 20MHz in other countries, and this does not support India's user traffic, he added.

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