CDG Press Releases
CDMA DEVELOPMENT GROUP REACTS TO THE PROPOSED 3G SPECTRUM POLICY IN INDIA
Further limiting CDMA operators’ access to spectrum will stifle competition and slow down economic growth
New Delhi — April 10, 2008 — The CDMA Development Group (CDG) (www.cdg.org) today commented that the proposed 3G spectrum allocation policy put forth by India’s Department of Telecommunications (DOT) will further inhibit CDMA operators’ access to spectrum in the region. The policy under review would assign 3G spectrum in the 800 MHz and 2100 MHz frequency bands, which the CDG agrees will enable the mass market deployment of 3G CDMA services to India. However, the current proposal to divide these spectrum allocations such that only two 1.25 MHz blocks are assigned in the 800 MHz band compared to five 5 MHz blocks in the 2100 MHz band is highly inadequate and further exacerbates the unlevel playing field that exists due to the 2G spectrum policy that has constrained CDMA operators to one-half of the amount of spectrum available to GSM operators. Furthermore, the CDG feels that not including the 450 MHz and 1900 MHz bands in the 3G policy, even after successfully completing the mandated mixed-band RF interference trials, is unfairly restricting CDMA operators and will further inhibit the growth of 3G broadband services in the region.
“The CDG urges the Indian government to continue to stimulate innovation, competition and further telecom investments by proposing a balanced and fair allocation of its spectrum resources,” said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDG. “CDMA has played a critical role in expanding telephony penetration in India through competition, a fact that should not be ignored when considering how to best serve the country’s economic interests in expanding broadband Internet penetration with 3G.”
With hundreds of licensees anticipating new spectrum allocations, the CDG believes it is increasingly critical for the DOT to adopt and enforce the “15 Carrier Plan” proposal in the 800 MHz band. In addition to this, the TRAI in its Sep 2006 Recommendations called for the DOT to refarm spectrum (2 x 5 MHz) in the lower 900 MHz band (to re-allocate GSM operations within the band) and then allocate an additional 2 x 5 MHz for CDMA operations in the upper 800 MHz band. This recommendation would alleviate the spectrum limitations for 3G EV-DO broadband services and level the playing field for all. . Per the same TRAI recommendations, the CDG also urges the DOT to consider allocating at least 5 MHz in the 450 MHz band.
Additionally, the CDG agrees with the DOT’s recommended principles of using spectrum efficiently, ensuring technology and service neutrality, and establishing a level playing field by auctioning 3G spectrum with a reserve price. Applying these universally accepted principles will ensure India’s scarce spectrum will be used most efficiently and that all technologies and services are treated equally, without prejudice. Issuing such a 3G policy that encourages healthy competition will ensure that India’s businesses and consumers will continue to receive the best value for their money.
More information on CDMA is available at www.cdg.org.
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