Cabinet Secy discusses spectrum release roadmap for 3G
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Last Updated: Friday, September 11, 2009, 18:48
New Delhi: The Cabinet Secretary today held a meeting with the Defence and Telecom secretaries to monitor the release of 3G spectrum by the Defence department before it is auctioned around this year end.

The spectrum monitoring committee, headed by Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar, met to oversee the vacation by the defence ministry of 3G radio waves and setting up of a dedicated network for armed forces, a senior DoT official said.

No decision has been taken on the timeline of the spectrum release by defence forces, but it is likely that they would release 5-10 Mhz of spectrum for auction, said the official.

According to the MoU signed between DoT and Defence ministry, the defence forces will release 25 Mhz of 3G spectrum and 20 Mhz of 2G spectrum. Of this, it will release immediately 10 Mhz of spectrum for 3G spectrum and 5 Mhz for existing 2G cellular services.

The spectrum scenario is not very good, although DoT claims that it can go ahead with the auction without the defence forces releasing any frequency.

With Rajasthan still not having any 3G spectrum and there being only 15 Mhz available in an important circle like Delhi, the government does not want to send a picture of spectrum scarcity to potential bidders.

On August 28, an empowered group of ministers (EGoM) headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had fixed the reserve price for 3G pan-India licence at Rs 3,500 crore. The EGoM had also decided to restrict the number of players in each circle to five, including one slot for PSUs BSNL and MTNL.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, September 11, 2009, 18:48

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