Will we ever see that on our phones?

Will we ever see that on our phones?

Today the Indian Telecom minister, A. Raja said that India will be completing the auctions for 3G by the end of the year 2009. Telecoms.com reports that there have been some disputes between the regulator and the government which has caused the delay.

Their article makes some very interesting observations, which the government, it seems has forgotten. Though the number of players seeking the license has reduced, the availability of little spectrum in the circles means that a few years down the line Indians will be forced to call 3G a hogwash. The cellular service providers will push for adoption of this service so as to make profit, and as the number of adopters increases, so will congestion; the result will be drop in quality of service, reduction in speed, increased costs for both parties and what not. Who takes the blame then, Indian Govt. due to their ‘style’ of governance or the service providers. The sufferers because of this will be as usual the citizens of India.


The regulator and Indian government have forgotten the basic principle of technology, i.e it changes quickly. European countries are already looking at bringing 4G, which means that 3G has been exploited and is moving from ‘star’ category to ‘cash cow’ category. While in India we are fighting to introduce it. Wake up you people (govt. and regulator), introduce it quickly before it is too late and the world has moved on. 3G is already present in smaller and lesser prosperous countries. What’s stopping you from introducing it?

This attitude only goes to show one thing, that India begins everything with great gusto, but later all that energy and dynamism just becomes a small trickle. The government and regulator are doing just that. For all the good work that these two bodies do in this sector, it’s a wonder how they always manage to goof up in this area!

It also shows the level of mismanagement in allocating spectrum and licenses. Instead of announcing a end date, why not allow service providers to procure licenses and start rolling out services. This approach will make the government also fetch a good price for the licenses and at the same time create a competitive environment.

I have already mentioned how these delays will cost us in an earlier article of mine and I don’t want to repeat that again. More the delay, more decay in the utility of that service, less the price a person will be willing to pay for that service. I’m sure people in both the establishements know that much of economics.

I hope someone from the government realizes this and makes amends. Otherwise it will be the just another dream seen by just another prime minister!