3G Finally in Indian Hands

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Dec. 12 – 3G or the third generation in mobile telephony was officially launched by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday. After years of debate on spectrum allocation and price the new technology will offer urban India richer multimedia content with the convenience of better speed and mobility. Some countries in Europe, Japan and South Korea have all deployed 3G. China has developed their own version of 3G which was deployed just prior to the Olympic games. 3G hasn't taken the world by storm yet as its an expensive technology for consumers and operators.

India's State telecom incumbent MTNL will commence services by the end of January in Mumbai, other major private operators have announced they would launch commercial 3G services six months after specturm allocation. The government is expected to auction freed spectrum early next year.

Mobile number portability which allows a user to retain his mobile number while switching service providers has also been accepted by the Telecom Ministry and is expected to be operational by mid 2009.

India is the fastest growing telecom market in the world and the secon largest wireless market after China. Average monthly subscriber additions are eight million and teledensity averages at 32 percent. In October although 10 million new subscribers were added to the fold. India currently has a subscriber base of 373 million. The Department of Telecom has set a target of 500 million telephone connections by 2010 and 750 million by 2012.