COAI, the telecom industry body has requested DoT to extend the deadline for introducing 4G service to 2020 quoting multiple hurdles especially postponement in development of technology and regulatory procedures. In a letter to DoT, Rajan S Mathews, director general COAI, said, “DoT is requested to review and relax the roll out obligations and extend the timelines for meeting the roll out by additional 5 years.”
As per PTI report, COAI has also mentioned the problems in rolling out the LTE-TDD (a 4G technology) as among reasons for delay in roll out of 4G services. The broadband wireless access spectrum that can be used for 4G services was allocated through auction in 2010. The list of successful bidders of the BWA spectrum incorporates Aircel, Airtel, Qualcomm, Tikona, Infotel and Augere. The conditions of the auction asked the bidders to provide 90 per cent coverage in metro area, if they have spectrum there, and 50% of rural area within five years. However, if the telcos failed to do so then the spectrum given to them will be taken back.
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Reliance Jio Infocomm has the pan-India BWA spectrum and plans the roll out of 4G services by 2015. COAI also stated that, the operators are unable the service mainly due the delay in development of the requisite device and network ecosystem, a prime factor which is predominantly out of the control of telecom service providers.
Earlier also COAI has raised the issue of delay of 2 years by Department of Telecom in giving spectrum to operators which eventually affected roll out of 4G network. It is also said that, DoT has still not released full list of rural exchanges where coverage has to be provided and has also not finalised test schedule which gives an indication of how the coverage compliance will be assessed.