Towards a spectrum solution
Pradip Baijal: Jan 05 2013, 00:59 IST
2011, global mobile data doubled every year for four years. Mobile devices are 5 billion today, and devices connected to the communication networks are 35 billion. There are likely to be 50 billion mobiles by 2020, and devices connected to the network will number 1 trillion by 2050. By that time, only wireless technologies are expected to contribute $4.5 trillion to the global economy, through the expansion of existing business and the creation of new opportunities. Should or can India be left behind in encashing this opportunity on the communications network? We were at the forefront in encashing such new opportunities in the last century when India entered the worldwide network, and this led to an increase in our GDP. We can be at the forefront again, but we have to efficiently deal with the unprecedented demand for commercial access to wireless networks and, consequently, increasing demand for spectrum. The need for federal spectrum is also rising. Aerial systems, surveillance and reconnaissance needs around the world and in India are leading to far greater demand than before. Hence, we need far more spectrum than earlier. Is it possible to give this spectrum viably with the present user wise allocation/auction method of this resource, so far treated akin to land, or do we need to explore other options for allocation of additional spectrum?
There are already two different regulatory models prevalent on the networks. On one hand, telecom companies have already spent billions in acquiring allocated 2G, 3G and 4G spectrum, and
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