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UMTS Forum Welcomes TRAI Recommendations on Core IMT-2000 (3G) Spectrum for India

Third Generation mobile industry association The UMTS Forum has welcomed recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that will facilitate the timely availability of WARC-92 frequency bands (1920-1980/2110-2170 MHz) for IMT-2000/UMTS networks.

In a recent announcement (13 May 2005), TRAI affirmed its support for India's adoption of the global spectrum plan proposed by the ITU for IMT-2000 mobile services. This will enable the evolution of existing public mobile networks to 3G, with the provision of additional capacity for operators in the region.

"In ensuring that India's spectrum plans stay on the same track with the rest of the world, TRAI's recommendations will benefit millions of mobile subscribers - and the industry at large", commented UMTS Forum Chairman Jean-Pierre Bienaim. "By harmonising its own mobile frequency allocations with the globally-supported WARC-92 band plan, India can enjoy significant economies of scale. These range from simpler development and deployment of IMT-2000 (3G) mobile services to lower equipment costs for network operators and subscribers."

The UMTS Forum has been actively involved with TRAI in discussions regarding Indian 3G spectrum allocations since April 2004. The UMTS Forum especially provided technical material on potential interference to be taken into account when developing frequency plan at WARC-92 bands, and has contributed to TRAI's consultation on spectrum related issues (31st May, 2004). Moreover, The UMTS Forum last year (18 November 2004) urged India to align its mobile spectrum allocations with the internationally harmonised WARC-92 band plan. India's previous consideration of other band plans at the WARC-92 frequencies, the UMTS Forum has cautioned, would impact the feasibility of IMT-2000 implementation due to the additional cost and complexity required to tailor network equipment and terminals for the Indian market.

The UMTS Forum recommends that 3G/IMT-2000 2GHz spectrum is released to India's mobile operators in due time to keep pace with 3G/UMTS developments in the rest of the world. Moreover, 3G/IMT 2000 2GHz spectrum and additional frequencies at 800MHz should be released simultaneously.