DoT and MoD in stalemate over 3G frequencies

26 Aug 2014

India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has appealed to the Finance Ministry regarding the Defence Ministry’s reluctance to vacate 3G spectrum earmarked for the upcoming auction. The Economic Times writes that the Defence Ministry has refused to swap 15MHz of unused radio waves in the 2100MHz band for frequencies in the 1900MHz range. There is strong demand for 3G spectrum, after the previous sale in 2010 yielded no pan-Indian licences. The DoT and the Defence Ministry have so far been unable to agree on which frequencies should be cordoned off for security forces and the latter’s reticence has been exacerbated by the DoT’s inability to establish an alternative communications network for the spectrum that has already been surrendered. As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, under a previous deal in 2009, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) agreed to hand over 2G and 3G frequencies in exchange for a fibre-optic network to be constructed by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL). The construction of the network has seen numerous delays however, and is now expected to be completed by July 2015 at the earliest.

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