The CDMA operators have requested Sam Pitroda, the Adviser to the Prime Minister on information infrastructure, to take immediate steps to identify and auction spectrum for the fourth generation mobile services, even as government is struggling with 3G radio waves auction.
"The 3G services in India are now likely to be available only in 2011–2012, if the auction of 3G spectrum is held in August or September 2010. India will, thus, be lagging behind large number of countries in the world.
"In order to ensure that we do not lag behind in respect of 4G technologies, it is humbly suggested that DoT take immediate action for the auctioning of 4G spectrum," CDMA operators' body AUSPI said in a letter to Pitroda.
The fourth generation or 4G technology offers download at faster speed known as ultra-broadband and high definition video on demand among other such services.
While the 3G networks have made their presence in more than 100 countries, India is yet to auction even the spectrum. Some parts of the world have even moved to 4G technologies and the commercial networks have been set up in a number of countries like Sweden, Norway, the US, Finland, AUSPI said.
AUSPI also took objection to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting's nod to Trai's recommendations to allow private operators offer mobile TV services through Digital Terrestrial Transmission saying it is an outdated technology and would lead to wastage of resources.
"Mobile TV through DTT is an outdated technology that allows operators to offer multiple channels through a mobile phone ... MIB has set aside about 24 MHz of spectrum for this. Offering so much spectrum for a relatively unproven service lack merits in the current scenario when 3G auctions have hit a road block due to spectrum shortage," the association said.
This spectrum can be used for mobile TV as well as other future technologies like WiMAX or LTE, whereby operators can still continue to offer mobile services using streaming technology and at the same time provide voice and broadband data to customers in urban and rural areas of the country, it added.
"India has more than 500 million mobile connections and spectrum scarcity is a mounting problem. The government needs to be more prudent in the allocation of the spectrum. Auctioning of this premium spectrum in 700 MHz band for outdated services like mobile television through DTT needs a review," it said.
"4G technologies in 700MHz are increasingly being considered world over. We request you to urge TRAI, DoT and MIB to re-examine the use of UHF Band V keeping in view the economic and social rationale location of this premium band spectrum," it added.