India might auction 4G spectrum (fourth generation) by the end of this year, even as deployment of 3G is yet to be completed, a move that might help the country embrace next level of communications technology.
The country is also finalising plans to sell off 2G radio waves, after they are released from defence services and the recent cancellation of 122 new 2G licences by the Supreme Court, telecom minister Kapil Sibal said.
"By the end of the year, we are actually going to auction 4G. That is what our intent is. We have enough spectrum now to share with everybody," he said at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
With the current 3G networks proving incapable of handling the growth in mobile data traffic, mobile operators in India, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. are soon expected to migrate to 4G technologies to accommodate the surge in data traffic, said Frost & Sullivan in a report in September 2011.
The long-term evolution (LTE) worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX) are the two competing 4G technologies expected to drive the growth in mobile broadband, globally, it said.
Sibal said the government will have enough radio waves for all operators after it is released from the defence services as well as the cancellation of 122 2G new licences by the Supreme Court in the 2G spectrum allocation case.