The Indian telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has met Defence Minister Parikkar to discuss the transfer of the spectrum held with defence to the DOT for auction and allotting of special spectrum for the defence department. With this, both ministries have finally resolved the contentious issue of swapping spectrum for commercial use.
The main bone of contention between the defence forces and the telecom ministry since 2009 has been notifying the defence band.
“IT and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad met newly appointed defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday evening, adding the two had reached an agreement on the matter,” according to a report.
“The department has given a detailed work plan on the swapping of 2,100 MHz with 1,900 MHz, with a tentative timeline for implementation. Both ministries have discussed this in detail and have agreed in principle,” said a senior DoT official.
Telecom Companies are currently facing a Spectrum crunch and they will be requiring additional spectrum in the 2100 MHz band which is traditionally used for deploying the high speed 3G. Operators had requested DoT to hold talks with the Defense ministry to swap the 15MHz in the 3G Band with an equal portion of spectrum in the 1900 MHz band.
Earlier in 2009 defense ministry has agreed to release 45 MHz of spectrum. Out of this, 25 MHz was used for 3G and the rest for 2G the service.