Indian telecom minister says 2G spectrum auction will be successful

Telecom Lead India: Indian telecom minister Kapil Sibal on Monday said the forthcoming 2G auction will be successful.


Indian telecom minister Kapil Sibal

He also assured the telecom sector that all regulatory issues will be sorted out before the 2G spectrum auction gets under way. “The bidding for the upcoming auction in November would be aggressive in the interest of competition in the sector,” he added.


At present, only a couple of operators are looking at participating in the 2G spectrum auction.


While addressing the curtain raising ceremony of India Internet Governance Conference (IIGC) being held in October in New Delhi, Sibal said there will be no restrictions on the use of internet.


According to the minister, there should be a clear roadmap for the sector.


The theme of the October conference is Internet for Social and Economic Development: Building the Future Together which would aim to provide a platform for an open and inclusive policy dialogue involving the government, business, civil society, technical community and academia.


It will focus on topics: network neutrality, internet governance models, effective management of the transition to IPv6, making broadband access available to all, challenges the internet poses to traditional media, to the challenges hate speech online poses for all.


“Internet today impacts both the users and non-users. With the use of internet, public interest is at stake and all stakeholders need to reconcile the divergent issues and then take them up appropriately at the international forum,” said R Chandrashekhar, secretary, Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology.


“India ranks low when it comes to internet penetration and contributes directly 1.6 per cent of GDP which amounts to $30 billion. It could reach $100 billion by 2015 if we are able to connect the nation virtually,” said Anu Madgavkar, India Head and Senior Fellow, McKinsey Global Institute.


To achieve this target five things needed are: internet reaching the smaller towns, cities and villages; reduction in total cost of ownership; enabling large scale digital literacy; increase in the  range of internet use in new areas and a favourable business environment.


“The Government’s initiative Bharat Broadband can only be successful if it goes out of Delhi and reaches the interiors of the country,” said Virat Bhatia, chairman, Communications & Digital Economy Committee, FICCI.


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