Friday, March 13, 2009

Are GSM players being shortchanged on 3G in India?

I was recently going through a news item where COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India), the body representing the GSM lobby of India, has alleged that most of the CDMA players have already started providing backdoor 3G services under the garb of various schemes.
My own research showed that not only private CDMA players but also government players like MTNL and BSNL are offering mobile broadband at the speed of over 2.4 MBPS to 3.1 Mbps, which ultimately is 3g speed. However, the 3G spectrum allocation and auction is still distant away. Does that mean that existing GSM players will stand to lose out on 3G, as the CDMA players along with government players have already pre empted the move, by providing their customers an experience far superior than what GSM with their spectrum constraints can provide.
This is highly inequitable, and truly amounts to backdoor entry of CDMA players in the 3G arena.
GSM subscribers will be deprived of 3G experience for no fault of theirs or even the service providers, but due to skewed or biased government policies.
I sincerely hope that the government takes note of it, and either provide enough spectrum to GSM players to launch their own 3G services or stop existing players from launching it.
Ultimately it is not only the players but also people in general, esp GSM users who will be the losers.
Or the whole 3G auction process would be nothing but an eye wash.

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