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Rediff News  All News  » Business » DoT willing to give 80% of spectrum on borders to defence

DoT willing to give 80% of spectrum on borders to defence

May 27, 2009 11:27 IST

The department of telecommunications has proposed to allocate 80 per cent of wireless spectrum on the international border to the defence forces.

The defence ministry had demanded the entire spectrum in the area up to 100 km from the international border.

The DoT has rejected this, as also a proposal by the ministry asking for prime towns, including state capitals, to be put under the 'defence interest zone'.

The DoT has said it would be inappropriate to consider these areas in the same category as the international borders, since many radio communication services are already deployed by various private telecom operators and government entities.

The DoT has also recommended that 25 per cent of the spectrum projected by the committee set up to identify spectrum for defence services, and formulate a policy to create defence interest zones across the country, could be used by the defence forces, subject to the availability of spectrum.

The talks between the two ministries have been on for over two years and reached a deadlock this March, when the defence ministry did not sign on the proposed memorandum of understanding.

The DoT has reviewed the terms of the MoU and has sent it back to the defence ministry for its approval. By its terms, the defence forces will vacate 15 Mhz of spectrum within a few days. While 10 Mhz will be used for 3G services and will be auctioned, 5 Mhz will be used for 2G services.

The allocation of spectrum will, however, take place in a phased manner.

With the entry of new players in the telecom space and the auction of 3G spectrum on the anvil, there is an urgent need to release more spectrum, a scarce resource. It is one of the priority items for the new telcom minister.

Ishita Russell in New Delhi