Communications Ministry on Friday said that a portion of spectrum from a chunk of over 200 MHz airwaves will be utilised for mobile telephony services, after co-ordination with Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
“There exists unused TV spectrum in the 470-698 MHz frequency band currently used by Doordarshan for terrestrial television broadcast in the country,” Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha. He said that it has been decided that part of the spectrum in the band will be put to use for International Mobile Telephony (IMT) services, when ecosystem for it is developed.
On whether the government has entered into agreement with private organisations or has plans to do so for utilisation of this spectrum, the Minister said, “No”.
In March this year, the government said it has allocated a total of 127 Mhz spectrum to eight entities for testing TV whitespace technology which can ensure hassle-free reception of mobile signals inside buildings and basements.
The then telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had informed the Rajya Sabha that 60 Mhz spectrum had been allocated to ERNET -- an autonomous body under the Telecom Ministry, 20 Mhz to power equipment maker BHEL, 10 Mhz or less each to IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIIT Bangalore, Tata Advanced Systems and 10 Mhz to Collector and Magistrate at Amrawati.
TV whitespace technology utilises part of spectrum that remains unused while transmitting broadcast signals. Mobile consumers often complain of not receiving signals when they are inside buildings or basements.