3G Spectrum

Spectrum means a range of radio frequencies. The bandwidth of a radio signal is the difference between the upper and the lower frequencies of the signal. Third generation or 3G is a term, which is used to refer to the next generation of mobile communication, soon to be launched in India. 3G technology allows network operators to offer its subscribers a variety of advanced services. Taking into account, India’s booming mobile market with its extensive network coverage, mobile broadband will undoubtedly be the best thing to happen. The amount of bandwidth needed for 3G services could be as much as 15-20MHz (megahertz).This is as much as 500 times the 2G spectrum. In the past few months, everyone has been curious as to why governments all over the world are raising such a huge hue and cry over 3G spectrum. The answer is 3G spectrum will be the ultimate technology anyone can dream of. It will enable one to simultaneously transfer a telephone call as well as non – voice data such as downloading information, sending e-mails and flash messages. In easier words, one can flash one’s mobile to check out one’s favourite soaps on television, view the video of the baby shower you threw last week, challenge your pal (none other than your mobile) to any online games or just spend some time listening to your favourite singer. Do not worry as you can still attend to a call from your boss while you are in office!

But hey, all this is nothing! What we hear from the telecom sector is too good to be true! Our mobiles on 3G spectrum will work even while we are asleep, setting our schedule for the day! It will be the ultimate destination for entertainment, providing companionship in those hours of loneliness.

3G spectrum was first introduced in Japan for commercial purposes. The breakthrough of 3G in Japan was largely due to video telephony from 3G networks. The biggest attraction of 3G services was downloading music. With this, one can surely appreciate why radio spectrum has become such a costly and scarce resource. It being in short supply, telecom operators are vying for 3G spectrum rights from governments all over the world and the governments, on the other hand, are minting a huge revenue on realizing that they own a priceless resource.

While 2 G stands for second generation wireless telephone technology, 1 G are analog cellphone standards and 3G technology is used to enhance mobile phone standards. Currently, Japanese company NTT DoCoMo and Samsung are testing 4 G communication.3G services will be a dream come true for many. It will allow e-banking, governance, telemedicine, stock transactions and video broadcast. India falls behind many Asian countries in introducing 3G services.3G services are now operational in 42 countries all over the world. Analysts exclaim that by 2010, the 2 dominant 3G technologies, CDMA 2000 and Wideband CDMA will cater to 1.2 billion subscribers (41% of the global subscriber base).India, on the other hand, should see its light by 2008.

According to Sanjiv Mittal, CEO, Bharti Telesoft (the software wing of Bharti Enterprises),”paying a premium” for services will not hinder the customers – “Typically mail and chat are hugely popular and these services will be enhanced in terms of video mail or video chat. If past subscribers are anything to go by, we see a willingness among customers to pay a premium price”

In the present scenario, the telecom industry in India is in a massive rat race to woo the consumers and increase the subscriber base.3G spectrum will be provided to GSM players like BSNL, MTNL, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Essar to carry out operations on a non – commercial basis. But, after all these “too good to be true features”, it is worth noting that there are a number of issues related to 3G that are bothering governments. High prices for 3G services; possibility of electromagnetic waves causing health hazards and rigidity of 2G users to switch to 3G services are some of the propositions requiring formulation.

But, for the time being, we can sit back, relax and enjoy the comfort bestowed upon us by this new technology.

Madhavi Khatre

[Image source:http://www.flickr.com/photos/russmorris/324908547/]