Telecom Ministry says Defence likely to release 150 MHz Spectrum for betterment of 3G/4G Data Services

There is a new experience expected to take place in all types of mobile services, including 3G and 4G. However, this will only be practical if the Defence releases 150 Mhz of spectrum in 1700-2000 Mhz bands, a move that the telecom ministry says likely to take place in the next three months.

Reliable sources indicate that in the three months, the phase I spectrum harmonization should have been achieved from which shall lead to the freeing of 150 Mhz of airwaves for mobile services in 1700-2000 Mhz.

The Defence to DoT has been holding onto the release of the 150 Mhz of the spectrum since 2009 when a memorandum of understanding was assigned approving the freeing of spectrum for commercial mobile telephony services.

However, the intervention of the Cabinet in 2015 has led to the approval of the harmonization plan that brings to an end the tussle between DoT and the Defence.

Phase I of spectrum harmonization will initially cover six-seven telecom circles for 1700-2000 Mhz bands. The plan will make exclusive use of security establishment but at the same time will avail the remaining radio waves for profitable use in areas like telecom and broadcasting.

The harmonization process dictated all ministries to identify Spectrums as per their use. They were also required to point out a timeline within which they could vacate the excess spectrum all which was supposed to take place by January 2016.

It is the MoU that outlined what Defence had granted the vacation of 150MHz out of 300 MHz within the frequency bands ranging from 1700 MHz to 2000MHz. From this, it would become possible to transmit mobile signals from 2G, 3G, and 4G devices. And in respect to this, DoT has taken up the role of setting up high-class defence network for its communication services.

All said and done; it is now a question of whether Defence will oblige to the approval by the Cabinet and that of the earlier signed MoU.

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