3G Auction by Year End: Gurudas Kamat

by Prabhu Ram    Aug 06, 2009

The government will hold the 3G auction by year end, Minister of State for IT Gurudas Kamat informed at the inaugural function of Tata DoCoMo’s new generation network (NGN) for Mumbai and Goa.

Tata DoCoMo will be country s new entrant into 3G network service. The company is a joint venture between Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) and DoCoMo.

TTML will invest over Rs. 1,000 crore for the 3G-ready GSM network, which is expected to meet the country s growing broadband and 3G network needs.

The GSM  space is fiercely competitive with players like Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance - all of them having enhanced their network capability  - now eagerly awaiting the spectrum auction.

To attract customers, the JV company plans to offer price-point benefit to customers. It will charge the customers on a pay-per-second price model. However, the company said the unprecedented price model will only be an introductory offer. 

The company also hopes to attract customers with around 140 innovative postpaid pricing model to squeeze through the saturated teledensity market of  Maharashtra ( including Mumbai) and Goa

Mukund Govind Rajan, MD of TTML, said the new 3G capability is built on top of their existing CDMA networks thus allowing the company to scale GSM network rapidly. He said that 90 percent of the CDMA towers are now 3G capable.

Tokyo-based DOCOMO is a mobile operator catering to more than 50 % of Japan’s mobile phone customers, and one of the pioneering company in R&D space in the 3G and 4G networks.

On whether this deal will eventually lead to entry of smart phones (3G enabled) manufactured by the Japanese mobile industry, Rajan said that the network in Japan is far advanced than the current networks in India, and hence are not suitable for Indian networks. However, he said, TTML is likely to have deals of selling Japanese smart phones in the future once the 3G networks have built the necessary capability.