India must leapfrog to fourth generation telecom: Stakeholders

Thursday, 01 April 2010, 02:18 Hrs
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New Delhi: India should leapfrog directly from second generation telecom to fourth generation networks that not only enable the entire range of mobile multimedia applications but also at speeds 10 times faster, say stakeholders.

Responding to the consultations on the subject invited by the industry's watchdog Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, several stakeholders said having delayed the launch of 3G in the country, a leapfrog to fourth generation telephony was best suited for India.

"Even though the device ecosystem is in a nascent stage, volumes associated with India can be expected to provide a fillip to the device ecosystem, making 4G more affordable to everyone," said Tata Teleservices.

Worldwide, 59 operators have committed to launching fourth generation telecom services in 28 countries, with up to 22 networks to be pressed into service by the end of this year and another 37 to be added during 2011, as per the watchdog's assessment.

These networks will allow users to stream mobile multimedia, such as TV broadcasts and online games, apart from applications such as Internet TV, video-on-demand, audio-video calls and high-speed data exchange at much faster speeds and clarity.

The observations, however, come at a time when the government has approved all nine applicants who seek to bid for the auction of spectrum for third generation telecom services. The government will accept the bids April 9.

According to Sasken Comunications, skipping a generation of technology was not new for India. "It will be much similar to how we bypassed the first generation analog mobile technology services in 1995," the company said.

"There has been a strong movement in the US and Europe to deploy 4G technologies by re-farming the existing 2G spectrum bands," Sasken said, adding: "The option to enable operators to provide 4G technologies in the existing 2G bands should be encouraged."

In its response, Microsoft Corp said there should be an acceleration in the number of broadband connections and the speeds in India where the current definition of a minimum 256 Kbps download capacity must be changed in two distinct aspects.

First, the benchmark must be revised to at least 2 Mbps, then this must be revised every two years. The software giant said even though there were plans for a pan-India optical fibre network, modern wireless technologies offered a cheaper and faster way to meet the huge supply-demand gap.

"Even if the fibre network reaches village level, there will always be scenarios especially in the 'last mile' where wireless would still be useful and relevant."
Source: IANS
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