3G, Wimax guidelines in a week: minister

July 4th, 2008 - 8:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 4 (IANS) The broad guidelines for implementation and auctioning of radio spectrum for 3G and Wimax have been devised and the final draft will be approved and released within a week, telecom minister A. Raja said here Friday. “Broad guidelines for rolling out 3G services have been devised and we need some inputs from the finance ministry after which the guidelines will be forwarded to the Telecom Commission,” Raja told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

“Expect the final norms to be announced within a week,” he added.

Raja said the finance ministry had to be consulted as it has a say in the Telecom Commission - the policy making wing of the Department of Telecom.

3G is a wireless telephony technology that enables high-speed data transfers by enhancing the spectral efficiency.

The first 3G networks were rolled out in Japan in 2001 and since then, over 71 countries have adopted some form of the technology.

Wimax, on the other hand, is a non-cellular data transfer technology that offers even higher speeds - up to 10 times faster than 3G.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU)- a Geneva-based organisation within which governments and private players coordinate global telecom technologies - last year inducted Wimax as part of its third generation standards.

Wimax is the first non-cellular telecommunication technology to get ITU approval.

Both technologies can be used to offer a wide array of services such as video-telephony and high-speed Internet access to mobile subscribers.

3G being a cellular technology enjoys an advantage over Wimax, as telecom operators would not have to set up additional infrastructure in order to route telephone calls.

Moreover, 3G-enabled mobile handsets are already available in India while Wimax receivers have yet to come into the mainstream.

But Wimax has been utilised increasingly for providing broadband quality Internet access in areas with no wired infrastructure.

For instance, Kansas-based Sprint-Nextel has rolled out Internet on Wimax in parts of the US.

Closer home, Wateen Telecom, which started operations in Pakistan last year, too offers Wimax Internet access for its customers.

In India, Tata Communications (formerly VSNL), has made its blueprint for starting Internet services on the Wimax platform. The company is already offering the services in parts of Bangalore on a test basis and plans to roll out in the other metros once the spectrum is allotted.

“We plan to start services in Delhi and Mumbai apart from Bangalore in the first phase,” Neeraj Soanker, vice president of the company’s wireless engineering and implementation division, told IANS.

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