Might sound like it is building castles in the air (3G, anyone?) but TRAI is planning a consultation paper for implementation of International Mobile Telecommunications – Advanced (IMT-Advanced) (4G) mobile wireless broadband services.
The 4G network will allow users to stream mobile multimedia, such as TV broadcasts and online games 10 times the speed of a 3G network. The 4G network are designed for high speed internet anywhere and anytime with higher bandwidth, higher data rate, lower authentication load and support high level of user customization.
4G Around The World
4G services have already been commercially launched in Sweden and Norway. The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency has awarded a 15 year license for 4G networks in Sweden in May 2008. Swedish telco TeliaSonera has recently announced that it would launch 4G wireless service initially in Stockholm, Sweden, Oslo and Norway and expand to 25 cities in Sweden and four in Norway by the end of 2010.
In Brazil, the auction for 3.5GHz, 2.5GHz, 450MHz and the remaining 3G spectrum is expected to take place this year. Operators in other countries like US, Korea, Japan, etc. are gearing up to launch IMT-Advanced (4G) Mobile wireless broadband services.
But Who Are We Kidding?
In India, besides BSNL and MTNL, 3G services are yet to take off on a large scale. Auctions have been delayed for various reasons – holiday season, expectations that international players will participate, Armed Forces not vacating enough spectrum for the auction, etc. It was expected initially that the auction would be for four slots of spectrum, then it came down to three and now two. It is almost impossible to expect the auction to happen within this fiscal. The consultation paper on 4G might help TRAI and DoT to avoid the type of fiasco surrounding the 3G auction during the 4G implementation. Prevention is better than cure.