India needs to allocate more spectrum for digital dividend

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) India needs to allocate more spectrum to achieve its target of 100 million broadband subscribers by 2014, Robindhra Mangtani, senior director of GSM Associations, said Thursday.

GSM Associations is an organisation of global mobile communications (GSM) operators.

‘To achieve the target of 100 million we need to allocate more spectrum. We have been talking about digital dividend spectrum which is in 698 to 806 megahertz,’ said Mangtani.

The digital dividend — the benefit gained by switching over from the comparatively less efficient analog technology — will result in freeing up substantial radio frequency or airwaves for the deployment towards video, voice and data communication.

This spectrum is ideal for rural connectivity as it provides coverage with fewer number of base stations besides providing good in build coverage as well, Mangtani added.

At present there are 9.24 million broadband users in India.

High speed broadband is still very expensive in India even after the entry of various internet service providers in the sectors.

Talking about the issue, Mangtani said: ‘We will start with a pricing factor that works best with the Indian customers and then in order to get the compelling experience will come up with more innovative tariffs,’ Mangtani added.

According to a report by global consulting and advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, mobile broadband services will generate incremental revenue of Rs.940 billion in 2015 for the telecom industry as a whole, constituting roughly 1.5 percent of India’s real projected gross domestic product in 2015.

India’s auction of spectrum for broadband wireless access (BWA) which concluded recently fetched the government a revenue of Rs.38,543.31 crore (over $8.56 billion).

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