Tata DoCoMo, Airtel bringing 3G to India this year

It's been a long, brutal road, 2010 finally saw the long-overdue conclusion to India's nationwide 3G spectrum auction -- and in its wake, we're starting to see the winners make some firm commitments for getting services live. Two of the country's big operators, Tata DoCoMo and Bharti Airtel, are actually saying that they'll have their deployments up and running before the year's out; Airtel hasn't given a date, but Tata DoCoMo has pegged November 5th for its phase-one rollout in nine markets. Considering the size and complexity of India's spectrum license landscape, nationwide usability is definitely a concern -- but Airtel's saying that it's on the cusp of signing some roaming agreements that should keep things on the up and up. Oh, and Vodafone Essar? They're in the mix, too, though they'll be trailing a bit -- look for 3G from their towers in the first quarter of next year.