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Sibal expects 4G launch by 2012; limited content a concern

After the launch of third-generation (3G) telecom services, India may see more advanced 4G services in the second half of next year, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal says.

twitter-logoPTI | November 5, 2011 | Updated 08:06 IST

After the launch of third-generation (3G) telecom services , India may see more advanced 4G services in the second half of next year, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said on Friday.

"We have large capacities in spectrum to move forward in 4G which is hopefully going to be launched towards end of next year. Later half of 2012...we should be ready to launch 4G," Sibal said at an event.

The peak data transfer speed (Internet) in 4G technology is up to 100 Megabit per second on a device moving at high speed of around 100 kilometre (high mobility) per hour and 1 Gigabit per second for low mobility.

This theoretically means a person can download at least an hour length normal video within a minute while moving at a speed close to 100 kilometer per hour.

The minister, however, expressed concern on the content being provided by telecom players serves only elites of the country and cited example of 3G services which does not address issues of ordinary people.

"We welcome the fact 3G is getting launched but 3G today is being used for 2G. The market is not deep enough to make sure that ordinary people can access 3G at affordable price,"

The minister said that industry should look at providing content that an ordinary man requires to in his daily life.

"I want when a student actually wants education, he should get access to Internet and institution he wants access to. That data should be available to him at the time of access," Sibal said.

The minister said that mobile phone should be seen as instrument of empowerment and all public services should be part of the network whether it be health, rural development, education and others.

"You can bring in device but you don't have the content .

there is no point of having that device. One of the biggest problem you are facing in the country is that data is just not available," Sibal said.

He said that all stakeholders must come on board to develop content beyond entertainment.

"It (content) must provide access to services that is required by ordinary people living ordinary lives," Sibal said.

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