Govt confident of allocating 3G spectrum by Sept 1

The Department of Telecom (DoT) had set September 1 as the deadline for allocating spectrum, as per the schedule of auction, which fetched the government over Rs 67,000 crore for selling 3G frequency.

There are, however, apprehensions in the industry as the defence forces are yet to vacate spectrum in several areas, as the alternate network for them is still not ready.

Asked whether government will be able to give spectrum on time, Minister of State for Telecom and IT Sachin Pilot said on the sidelines of an Assocham event, "After September 1, 2010, allocation will take place and services will be rolled out."

The government had raised over Rs 1.06 lakh crore from sale of spectrum for both 3G and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) services.

As many as seven operators, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Tata Teleservices, Reliance Communications and others had bagged 3G spectrum in select circles.

Operators are confident if the spectrum is handed over to them by September, they can roll out services by the end of this year or early next year.

Two leading operators Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications had recently announced that they are ready with their 3G infrastructure and are waiting for the government to release spectrum.

"Our network is already ready for providing 3G services. Our content and application are also getting ready for the same and the IT too has geared up. The only thing that needs to be added is the radio network,"

"I am hopeful that before the end of this calendar year, we should see some light on 3G and real user experience happening," Bharti Airtel Chief Executive for India and South Asia Sanjay Kapoor had said.

Expressing similar views on 3G infrastructure set-up, Reliance Communications President Mahesh Prasad had also said, "If the spectrum is allocated by September. We will roll -out our services by the end of the year or by early next year."

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