A Blow to India's 3G Vanguard
Reliance launched its 3G services this week, while Tata Teleservices, via its Tata Docomo operation, was the first private operator to get into the 3G market when it launched last month. Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL), which is set to launch its 3G services soon, is also believed to have been contacted about what it cannot offer. (See Bharti Gets a Makeover Before 3G Launch, Bharti Plans Pan-India 3G Launch This Year , Reliance Com Joins India's 3G Club, and India's Tata Ready for 3G Launch.)
The services affected by the notices are those that are deemed difficult to monitor in real time, including video calls, a service that Tata Docomo had launched, but which it has now withdrawn.
India's security agencies had earlier noted that video calls and some other 3G services cannot be intercepted with existing monitoring infrastructure.
Indian operators paid a high price for the spectrum at the auction earlier this year, so not being able to launch video calling, believed by many here to potentially be one of the popular initial 3G applications, is a big setback for the likes of Tata Docomo, which was expecting to be able to gain from its first-mover advantage. (See India's 3G Auction Ends, Raises $14.6B)
— Gagandeep Kaur, India Editor, Light Reading