4 new spectrum band identified for telecom services

4 new spectrum band identified for telecom services

"In line with International Telecommunication Union Conference 2007, we have identified frequency bands between 698 to 806 Mhz, 2,300 to 2,400 Mhz, 2,500 to 2,690 Mhz and 3,400 to 3,600 Mhz for use of IMT Technologies," Head of Wireless Planning Commission (WPC) Ashok Chandra said.

Chandra was speaking at a TRAI workshop on Regulatory Framework here. These bands, however, are not vacant and there are various challenges associated in getting them vacated for wireless telecom technologies.

For instance, the 698 to 806 Mhz band, also known as 700 Mhz band, is under dispute between DoT and Information and Broadcasting Ministry. This particular band (700 Mhz) is considered to be very efficient and could fetch the government revenues more than it got through auctioning of 3G spectrum last year.

The band would entail less investments in infrastructure by the telecom firms as they would be required to set up less number of towers. While public broadcaster Doordarshan has claimed its right on the said spectrum, WPC had earlier said an organisation can claim spectrum only after it obtains Wireless Operating Licence (WOL), which needs to be renewed at regular intervals -- generally on annual basis.

As per WPC's record, Doordarshan(DD) never obtained WOL for spectrum in 700 Mhz frequency band and hence, its claim on this band does not stand.

On the other hand, I&B ministry in a communication to the DoT has said that DD has 40 Mhz frequency assigned for mobile video link and 8 Mhz for digital transmission in four metros in this band.

The ministry has also frequently emphasised that it needs spectrum for mobile TV services on which it has received recommendation from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

Similarly, some of the players in the other frequency bands need to be compensated for shifting to other frequency band as this will call for expenditure on new equipment and devices.

Though an internal committee of DoT has recommended the need for a compensation fund for migrating services to new bands, the department is yet to make final announcement.