Perhaps Indians will have to wait another whole year, as the Indian Government doesn’t seem to be in any rush to introduce mainstream 4G mobile high speed internet via mobile technology. While commissioning India’s first lab for measuring Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) for mobile handsets, Kapil Sibal gave the disappointing news, “We are going to auction the 700 band in any case by 2014”.
What is this 700MHz Band?
Indian mobile telephony typically operates in 800 & 1900 MHz bands. While it works fine, shorter bandwidth waves are must in order to ferry higher amount of data. Unfortunately, shorter the waves, stronger is their energy or in mobile terminology, more is the SAR rating. SAR values are critical & higher radiation can be potentially harmful to humans. And herein comes the labs, “We have set up a lab in the country so that mobile phones can be tested here for electromagnetic radiations” added Sibal. Similar labs will also be setup across the country beginning with Mumbai.
The SAR testing lab, setup at a initial cost of Rs. 2.5 Crores (US$ 500,000), is capable of making SAR measurement for CDMA, GSM 2G and 3G mobile handsets in the frequency band of 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz. Though most of the handsets can be easily certified, the networking equipment or as it is more commonly known as ‘Cellphone Towers’ need to be tested extensively to confirm they operate within permissible limits.
Additionally, to ensure the lab has a purpose in the future as well, it is being fitted with equipment to measure SAR value against the International Commission on non—Ionizing Radio Protection (ICNIRP) limit. As per latest standards, mobile companies have accepted this to be 1.6 watt per kg measured over 1 gm. of tissue. Earlier it was 2 gm. While most of this sounds complicated, in simple terms, it’s the safe values of radiation that don’t have any long-term ill-effects on the human body.
Setting up labs for the common benefit of citizens is indeed a welcome move. However, to delay the launch of mainstream 4G services for such a long time doesn’t seem to be a good idea. After all, 3G hasn’t been able to gain traction. What do you think?
Image Courtesy | indianexpress