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Help DoT starts process for auctioning spectrum in 700 Mhz band
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The Department of Telecom has set in motion the process for the next round of spectrum auction.

The Department has asked various internal units, including the Policy Group and the Wireless Planning & Coordination (WPC) wing, to take steps required for selling 700 Mhz band for broadband services.

A draft letter to the Secretary, Information & Broadcasting has been prepared requesting vacation of spectrum in this band. The 700 Mhz band is used for offering broadband services using fourth generation technologies. This is currently with the Ministry of I&B which wanted to use this band for mobile TV services. However, the National Frequency Allocation Plan has earmarked the band for wireless broadband in line with international standards.

The DoT has also alerted its Policy Group to seek the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in terms of reserve price, spectrum usage charge, quantum of spectrum to be auctioned and the eligibility criteria for the bidders. The Policy Group has also been given the task of finalising the auctioneer.

The DoT is also looking to get additional spectrum vacated from the Defence forces and the Department of Space. But this may require inter-ministerial consultation by a Group of Ministers. The DoT has asked WPC to identify items that may need a decision by the GoM by March 31 and prepare the agenda note by April 15, if required.

But the I&B Ministry is expected to oppose the plan. Earlier, it had written to the DoT saying that Doordarshan needs this band as it has initiated digitisation of its terrestrial networks.

The 700 Mhz band ranges from 698 Mhz to 806 Mhz and has been identified by the International Telecommunication Union for telecom services. In India, Doordarshan has been given a 40 Mhz bandwidth between 745 Mhz and 795 Mhz for digital terrestrial transmission in four metro cities. The balance is currently free but the I&B Ministry wants 96 Mhz in this frequency band reserved for mobile TV services.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

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