New Delhi: “The department of telecom (DoT) will not have to wait for the defence ministry to release frequencies for auctioning 3G radio waves as it has an adequate amount to give the initial 5Mhz of spectrum to at least three players in a circle,” a senior official said today.
“We have 3G spectrum available in varying amounts in various circles except Rajasthan, where there are no 3G radio waves. Therefore, spectrum availability cannot halt the auction process. Any release by defence would be an additional gain and will help in giving it to more players,” a DoT official associated with the process said.
Recently in the first empowered group of ministers (eGoM) meeting, DoT secretary Sidhharth Behura briefed the group about the agreement between defence and the DoT, in accordance with which the armed forces would release 10 Mhz of 3G spectrum. But even after four months of signing the MoU, defence has not released any spectrum.
The eGoM, headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, is yet to decide on the number of slots to be offered under 3G auction.
The official said 5Mhz of spectrum is good enough to start services but as the service picks up, more spectrum would be needed to enable heavy downloads and other advanced features of 3G and here defence spectrum would be very useful.