New Delhi: The government on 1 August announced guidelines for roll out of next generation (3G) mobile service and Mobile Number Portability that allows cell users to switch operators without changing numbers—conveniences that will enhance the wireless telephony experience.
“We have about 60 MHz of spectrum available with us. Except for Delhi and Mumbai, at least two to five operators can be accommodated right now in many circles while in others it will depend upon the availability of radio waves in the near future,” Telecom Minister A Raja told reporters here.
Announcing the policy, he said there would be global auction for 3G spectrum and all players having Unified Access Service (UAS) license or those eligible for the license would be allowed to participate.
The reserve price for a 2x5 Mhz block of spectrum for Mumbai and Delhi and category-A shall be Rs160 crore and for Kolkata and category-B Rs80 crore and for category-C Rs30 crore. Spectrum for pan-India license would cost at least Rs2,020 crore.
According to estimates, the government can garner between Rs30,000 crore to Rs40,000 crore depending upon the bids. 3G services will give users a better multimedia experience, with faster data transfer rates. At present, cellular operators offer only 2G services.
The minister said that the process for spectrum auction would begin in next 15 days and an independent agency would be appointed to superwise the spectrum allocation to ensure full transparency.
The policy on mobile number portability, also released by the government on 1 August, proposes dividing the country into two zones for implementing the scheme.