Government to allocate 700 MHz band for 4G services

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16 Feb 2012
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An empowered group of ministers headed by the finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Monday said that government will allocate airwaves in the 700 MHz band for offering fourth-generation or 4G telecom services.

Those who attended the EGoM, were Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Defence Minister AK Antony, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Information & Broadcasting minister Ambika Soni.

Later telecom minister Kapil Sibal said that three of four issues, which were related to the 700 Mhz band, had been resolved.

"There were about four issues which came up for resolution before the empowered committee and three of them have been resolved fully. Basically the issues were relating to the 700 Mhz band those have been resolved," Sibal said.

He said that information and broadcasting ministry had agreed to vacate the 700 Mhz band. The ministry earlier claimed this band for digital transmission. This band may fetch the government more revenues than the amount received by 3G auctions - Rs 67,000 crore - in 2010, the minister added.

Then there is issue of vacation of 1700 Mhz to 2000 Mhz spectrum band between Defence and Telecom Ministry. Sibal said that most of the matters related to it had been resolved.

"Then there were some issues relating to 1700 Mhz to 2000 Mhz band. We have had a full discussion and hopefully it will be resolved next week," Sibal said.

Though defence ministry is ready to give DoT only 150 Mhz and retain the rest 150 Mhz the latter is insisting on 230 MhZ while allowing the defence ministry to retain 70 MhZ.
Still the telecom companies are struggling to recover their 3G investments. The demand will not be much, and the price for 4G spectrum will not match 3G prices.
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