The telecom ministry postponed the auction of 3G spectrum to the next financial year (2010-11), which was expected to generate Rs 35,000 crore for the exchequer. So now we’re back to square one. Indian users will still have to wait for another year before it can experience the true power of 3G. Although operators like BSNL/MTNL are already providing 3G services but the problem is that it is at a primitive age and very expensive.
The telecom ministry was going with its plan of auction of the spectrum sans its availability. According to a senior DoT official, law minister Veerappa Moily, who is member of the EGoM, has opined that the auction should he held when the spectrum is available. The EGoM on 3G spectrum held several meetings in the past two months showing urgency to hold auction for the airwaves despite differences between ministries of telecom and defense over the number of blocks to be sanctioned. The EGoM had also decided that spectrum would be allotted to the winners simultaneously in August to maintain a level-playing field and the same was endorsed by all the members, including the law minister, sources said.
After all the bungling that happened in 2008 with the allocation of spectrum to a bunch of new operators for a pittance, I am amazed that India can still keep messing up its telecom policy. The rules of the 3G auction keep getting changed — perhaps depending on who has met whom the previous day. And now that the 3G auction has been delayed for another 6 months, we will be in pre-election territory when the code of conduct will start coming into effect, and it could end up being delay to the end of the year after the new government takes over in May-June.
What we call development is sometimes an illusion, I feel. India as a nation is progressing in matrix only. The reality is our backbone is broken. It seems every matter here happens to pass through the politics relevant or irrelevant alike, gets stuck there. Those suckers sitting on a pile of money suck more and when the matter has no matter left in it, they let it go in search for some another. It around 8 years since 3G was launched and in other part of world, talks are on for 4G and herein India, the government is still fiddling over the auctions of 3G spectrum. As a matter of fact, this tells the technology gap between us and others. And we hold ourselves with false pride of being an emerging superpower. This banana attitude of politicians over every issue is not helping us.
Apart from that, most of the users are also ignorant about the technology and the features. Normally, in India, the users stick to CALLS or rather MISSED CALLS. A very small proportion of them are actually aware of the technology and an even small %age is willing to spend on it.
India needs wireline and wireless broadband services of every kind if we are to create a future in data services — our digital infrastructure has been messed around since time immemorial. Its time we get serious on technological front.