TRAI recommends 4G LTE spectrum auction in 2014

Telecom Lead India: TRAI on Monday recommended that the
auction of spectrum in 700 MHz band (for LTE 4G) may be carried out at a later date,
preferably in 2014. This will be a major setback for equipment vendors and
service provider who are looking for launching mobile broadband services.

This may be a set back for Bharti Airtel. Reliance Industries will gain since it will have the first mover advantage if it goes ahead with the national launch of TD LTE services in the next 6-18 months.

According to TRAI, the auction should be done as and when
the ecosystem for LTE in the 700 MHz is reasonably developed, so as to be able
to realize the full market value of the spectrum.


In the absence of the availability of the equipments and
the end devices, the Authority agrees with the view expressed by majority of
the stakeholders that the auction of 700 MHz band should not be clubbed with
the upcoming auction in the 1800 MHz band.


Airtel, Idea, Tata Teleservices, Telenor support GSMA demand
for early 4G LTE spectrum


Recently, GSMA director general Anne Bouverot has urged
Indian government to facilitate timely release of additional spectrum for 4G
services. The mobile broadband move is supported by Indian mobile operators
such as Airtel, Idea Cellular, Tata Teleservices and Telenor.


However, these operators did not specify on the timing of
the release of mobile broadband spectrum. Bharti Airtel recently said they
would like to buy 700 MHz spectrum through the proposed this year in order to
launch 4G services.


According to GSMA, India will become the second
largest mobile broadband market globally within the next four years with 367
million mobile broadband connections by 2016.


India will overtake the US, which will account for 337
million mobile broadband connections by 2016, but will still be second to
China, which will have reached 639 million mobile broadband connections in the
same period.


COAI urges all mobile operators to support 4G auction


Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the top
telecom industry body for GSM operators, has urged all mobile service providers
to participate in 4G LTE auction during the current financial year.


COAI chief’s statement was significant since Airtel is
the only Indian telecom service provider which is looking at participating in
the 4G auction this year. Most of the leading operators want the auction to
happen at a later stage since they have spent huge money for 3G.

Baburajan K
[email protected]