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Help E-auction on cards for Mobile TV spectrum allocation
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After FM-III, the government is set to implement e-auctions for allocating the 700 MHz to 800 MHz spectrum for Mobile TV even though the regulator has batted for closed tender bidding.

E-auctions will be similar to the last-year's auction of 3G spectrum. “After the allegations leveled against the government in the allocation of 2G spectrum, and later in the Antrix S-band deal, the government is not taking any chance to push for a closed tender bidding for allocating any natural resources including the expensive spectrum,” a top government official told FE.

The government is set to auction a minimum of 40 Mobile TV licences across 20 service areas in the country and expects a minimum of R200-250 crore in revenue (R5-6 crore per licence), sources said. However, for states like Delhi NCR, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu housing metros, it expects intense competition, especially between the existing telecom service operators like Airtel, Vodafone, RCom, Idea, and others as the demand for Mobile TV will be the highest.

For the telecom service providers, owning a mobile TV licence will ensure 8 MHz of dedicated spectrum for mobile television services which would free their precious 3G and 2G spectrum currently utilized for offering mobile TV. Also, mobile TV providers would then be able to provide broadcast-based television channels as opposed to the existing streaming-based TV content using the precious 2G and 3G spectrum, experts said. The I&B ministry is giving the final touches to the Cabinet note on Mobile TV policy which will include the provision of e-auctions for allocation of spectrum to the mobile TV operators. “Mobile TV policy is keenly awaited by the telecom operators as they will each get 8Mhz in each of the service area. There will be a maximum of three mobile operators permitted in any service area of which one slot of 8MHz will be reserved for Doordarshan,” an official told FE.

As per the provisions of the draft policy of Mobile TV, the mobile television operator will use terrestrial broadcast in the bandwidth of 585 Mhz and 806 Mhz for providing the services. This means, the mobile devices will directly receive the television signals as opposed to the current buffering and streaming of TV content.

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