Government Dismisses Sale Of Additional 3G Spectrum In 2015

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The government will not auction any more 3G spectrum in 2015 apart from the 5 Mhz that was approved to be sold. That’s despite the Cabinet clearing the swap of airwaves between the telecom department and defence ministry, thus freeing up an additional 15 Mhz of high-speed broadband bandwidth for commercial use.

A senior telecom department official said the government can auction only 5 Mhz of 3G airwaves next month as it can only sell what it has. The 15 Mhz, which defence has agreed to swap in return for airwaves held by the Department of Telecom, will only be available for sale after technical issues are sorted out, and this process can take at least a year.

“If we were to auction airwaves that currently we do not have and the swap with defence stretches beyond a year, the industry will start clamouring for refund and prorata reduction in prices or even extension as they are doing now,” the official said.

The Cabinet on Wednesday, apart from approving the swap, also ratified the notification of the defence interest zone and the defence band, earmarking airwaves that will be used exclusively by the armed forces, as well as those that will be available for commercial sale.

But even after a swap agreement is signed, technical difficulties will prevent the spectrum from being auctioned immediately. All defence equipment is currently tuned to the networks in their possession, including the 2100 Mhz band, which will be commercially used for 3G services eventually, and would need to be re-tuned to the newly allotted frequencies. Original post at ET Telecom

Wahengbam Rorrkychand

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Website: http://www.blog.tonsetelecom.com

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