New Delhi: The Defence Ministry will vacate
radio waves for mobile telephony services as soon as an
alternative network is made available, Minister of State for
Defence Pallam Raju today said.
"We will vacate spectrum as and when an alternative
network is made available," Raju told reporters here on the
sidelines of an event.
He declined to give a time frame, but said, "We will
stick to the timeline that has been announced."
The country is facing a radiowave crunch as about 13-16
million new subscribers get added by telecom operators
every month. With the recently-concluded 3G and BWA auctions,
the demand for spectrum will go up further.
"We support spectrum efficiency and if the government has
some commercial interests in mind, we will support it. Our
interest is only for security, and not commercial," Raju
While BSNL is currently in the process of executing
alternative communication networks for the Army and Navy, the
one for the Air Force is already in trial mode. This is being
done as per an MoU between both the ministries.
The Defence Ministry is set to release 42.5 Mhz spectrum
for both 3G and 2G use.
Mobile operators, on the other hand, are gearing up to
launch 3G services from September.