New Delhi: In a bid to resolve the issue of spectrum crunch, Dr Shakeel Ahmed, minister of state for communications and IT, said the government would be taking action on spectrum allocation for Wi-Max.
Speaking at the inaugural secession of Wi-Max India 2007 on 24 August, the minister said, “We are aware Wi-Max will bring down the cost of broadband access and ensure interoperability.The technology can also offer additional advantages for developing economies such as India, which do not have widespread line-based broadband infrastructure in place.”
Ahmad also shared the government’s plans to provide wireless broadband to every panchayat headquarters.
“For making India’s telecom industry dream come true, the allocation of adequate quantity of spectrum is a crucial factor. The sharing of active and passive infrastructure for lowering cost of operations for service providers should be encouraged so that users in rural areas can avail of service at the lowest possible cost,” said Amit Sharma, country president, Motorola India and vice president- strategy, APC, Motorola Inc.
“To have Wi-Max access, customers are ready but allocation of spectrum in bits and pieces is creating a problem. To provide low-cost service to rural audience, the spectrum charges should be based on revenue sharing and not on number of subscribers,”said Jagbir Singh, chief technology officer, Bharti Airtel.
The industry consciously suggested that the allocation should be in the 2.5 MHz band and 3.0 MHz per operator. “Considering this, only big players should be allocated as they could use the spectrum efficiently”, Singh suggested. At present, around 25 operators are using the 2.5 MHz spectrum for Wi-Max and about 20 more are in the process of providing similar services in Asia.
Making a different suggestion, Prateek Pashine, vice-president, marketing and technology,VSNL said: “if operators could come together and ask for 3.3 MHz frequency, vendors would make equipment for that spectrum.”
He is hopeful that by 2012 wireless broad band would be making a significant contribution to GDP growth just as it is presently doing in Korea.
Having said that vendors can provide equipment for 3.3 MHz frequency spectrum, the question rises as to who will be providing specific equipment for Wi-Max?
A Sethuraman, corporate communications head of Alcatel-Lucent India is ready to dispel doubts by providing answers to questions, confirming that their research and development division has produced a common base station programmed remotely by software that will reduce operational costs considerably.
The company’s R&D also aims at helping service providers reduce total cost of ownership in Wi-Max deployment. On behalf of equipment making industry, NK Goyal, chairman emeritus of Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association, the Indian industry is ready to meet the challenge of Wi-Max supplies to the operators.