The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is expected to outline its roadmap for the country’s introduction of 3G services, the Times of India reports. Communications Minister Dayanidhi Maran said that the TRAI will provide recommendations on UMTS spectrum ‘soon’. The regulator will address a wide range of issues regarding the rollout of UMTS services, including the licence fee for 3G concessions, he added. Maran said the Indian military is expected to vacate 45MHz of spectrum in the IMT-2000 2GHz band over the next few months, paving the way for the reallocation of the frequency.
India’s progress in preparing for the launch of 3G services has been slow. After numerous delays, the TRAI released a set of spectrum policy recommendations in May 2005. Its plans included awarding 2×5MHz in the 2GHz band by the end of 2006 to any existing 2G operator wishing to launch 3G services without charging a licence fee. It proposed enforcing a strict timeframe of two years for operators to launch a 3G network upon receipt of the spectrum. However, shortly afterwards the Department of Telecommunications put the plan in doubt when it called for the auctioning of UMTS concessions to generate extra state revenue.