The Scam that helped the people.
All the hullabaloo around the India's 2G scam is something that I deeply detest. Am I the only one who sees the public benefit that happened due to spectrums being handed out for little to no license fees? Look at where India's cellular penetration is. Look at the cellular tariff's in India and compare it to the rest of the world. India now has the lowest tariff in the world. Could this ve happened had the spectrum's being instead sold at exorbitant prices? Look where the 3G network infrastructure, penetration and the availability is today in India. Of course the government "earned" a lot of money from these 3G licenses (and in fact it were these 3G spectrum bids and final prices which brought the "apparent" 2G spectrum scam to forelight), but who is the ultimate loser in this game? Telco's brought 3G licenses at the obscene prices only coz they were buoyant by the existing 2G environment. What they forgot was that the 2G era happened because of cheap licenses which left the telcos with enough money to spend on the infrastructure.
In my opinion, the guy who decided to sell the 3G license is the bigger culprit. Typical Indian style, milk the cow as much as you can. Infact this was worse than slaying the golden goose.
Just imagine the internet penetration that 3G would have brought to masses if these were easliy available. I remember the days when I was on dialup. I used to get 12-13kBps average, 40kBps peak. Today I ve a 5MBps connection and am in 99.1 percentile of the Indian population having high speed internet. The definition of broadband in India is pathetic. 256kBps is defined as Broadband by TRAI.
IMO, one of the best decisions that was made in the last decade was the free giveaway of the 2G spectrum. Money might have changed hands, and whats wrong is wrong, but not selling the 2G spectrum was definitely the best decision the silent PM agreed to.