DoT hopes to raise $17.9 Billion from spectrum freed by defense services

The Department of Telecommunication has asked the Defense Ministry to vacate another 80MHz for commercial telecommunication needs. According to DoT the sale of this spectrum can make close to $17.9 Billion for the government.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) says that to meet the growing needs of mobile communication in India they will need somewhere around 500 to 800MHz of spectrum in the coming 5 years. As of now, the Department of Telecom (DoT) and the country's defense services have equally split 300MHz (between 1,700MHz and 2,000MHz) for their services. The DoT has now asked for 80MHz from the defense services who were promised transition to a powerful Optical Fiber Communication network (OFC)  and an exclusive defense spectrum for their telecommunication needs. According to Defense Minister AK Anthony these requirements have not been fulfilled. This has led to a deadlock between the departments and the matter has been deferred to an Empowered Group of Ministers to resolve.

The DoT claims that based on their calculations sale of the additional 80MHz spectrum can fetch up to $17.9 Billion (800 Billion INR). The Group of Ministers is headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and the additional 80MHz spectrum for the DoT would definitely be helpful in improving call connectivity. The reports suggest that the 230MHz DoT hopes to have will be divided between 2G (130MHz), 3G (60MHz) and CDMA (35MHz).

The defense ministry has said that they will be releasing the spectrum as the setting up of the OFC network progesses.