India plans launch sale of 4G mobile services: report

NEW DELHI, April 14, 2010 (AFP) – India plans to hold an auction of ultra-high-speed fourth-generation (4G) mobile phone spectrum soon after completion of 3G access now underway, a report said Wednesday. It will also heat up the battle for customers in the world’s fastest-growing mobile market.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has already started the pre-consultation process for the sale of 4G spectrum, Raja said.

“Once TRAI submits its recommendations, the government will work on it,” he said. The sale for 4G, which will provide high-speed Internet connections, will begin as soon as operators roll out their 3G networks this year, Communications Minister A. Raja was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times newspaper.

The government expects to bring in at least 350 billion rupees (eight billion dollars) from the sell-off of 3G airwaves and a follow-on auction of broadband wireless access spectrum that began last Friday and could take weeks.

Operators believe 4G will bring near-broadband speed technology to mobile phones, allowing users to receive multimedia such as TV broadcasts and online games at rates up to 10 times faster than those possible on 3G networks.