After the successful launch of next generation 3G mobile service in India by state operators MTNL and BSNL, the customers of the private operators are very eager for 3G services by their own operator. A critical battle has been won for the Indian telecommunications industry as the defense ministry has agreed to release 45 mega hertz (MHz) of spectrum, the radio frequency on which mobile phone signals travel. Out of this, 25 MHz is for 3G, or third generation of mobile services that enable high-speed data transfer and the rest for 2G the service prevalent in the country at present.
According to the sources the release of this spectrum by the defense ministry will solve the immediate problems of telecom service providers many of which are plagued with network congestion in 2G service. To put things in perspective, Bharti Airtel, the largest mobile phone service provider has about 9 MHz across the country, on which it services some 100 million subscribers.
The defense ministry has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology under which the armed forces will immediately release 10 MHz of 3G spectrum and 5 MHz of 2G spectrum. The rest will be released according to timeliness agreed on by the two ministries, which are contingent upon DoT placing the supply order for setting up an optic fiber cable (OFC) network for the defense services, the supply of the equipment, its installation and commissioning.