Saturday, May 29, 2010
Indian 3G auction might spell disaster for consumers
The Indian Telecom operators hope their 3G networks will be up and running over the next six months, adding another feather in the hat to the world's second largest mobile phone network, which has some 650 million phone subscribers, adding over 20 million new users every month.
When you access the Internet with a 3G-enabled device and SIM, the page-view will be near instant, meaning you can also watch TV, play online games, download videos and listen to streaming music on your 3G phone.
Until now the 3G rates by BSNL were cheaper than prevailing 2G rates making it a very consumer friendly service. But these rates might increase especially after the auction has resulted in a licence fee of over $5.5 billion for the government for the 71 slots available in 22 circles.
Depending on how much of download you intend to do, the service may cost anywhere upward of Rs 1,000 to Rs 4,000 per month, as per initial estimates available with telecom operators.
"The numbers are mind boggling and it is going to be a big challenge for operators to leverage high costs and still be able to offer the service at low cost," said Prasanto K Roy, chief editor with CyberMedia's, referring to the high fee for spectrum.