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TV broadcast spectrum still not identified for IMT for India, says Rathore

NEW DELHI: The television broadcast spectrum in 470–698 MHz, which is currently held by Doordarshan, has not been identified for International Mobile Telecommunication (IMT) services for India, Minister of State in the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore informed the Lok Sabha.

Rajyavardhan RathoreThe Ministry of Communications & IT (MC&IT) informed that as per the outcome of the World Radio communication Conference 2015 (WRC-15), the 470–698 MHz frequency band has not been identified for IMT services for India, Rathore said in response to a question.

He further stated that the MIB had conveyed its concurrence, as also agreed to by Prasar Bharati, to the Department of Telecommunications’ proposal for identification of the frequency band 470–698 MHz for IMT.

This was subject to the condition of the present and future requirements of Doordarshan and terrestrial broadcasting being given due priority for giving up this frequency band for IMT in addition to the existing broadcasting band.

The MC&IT, after due approval and a decision by a Committee of Secretaries, had sent a proposal for identification of the frequency band 470–698 MHz for IMT services for India under Agenda 1.1 of World Radio communication Conference 2015 (WRC-15), of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), held at Geneva during November 2015.

According to a recent media report, the Indian government was all set to free up television broadcast airwaves in 470–698 MHz to provide mobile broadband services to join grouping of nations that have freed up idle television broadcast airwaves for mobile broadband services.

Even though 90 per cent of these airwaves have remained unused, DD is averse to giving up the spectrum.

The 470–698 MHz spectrum has excellent propagation levels that make it ideal for both in-building data services and rural coverage.

The move would have brought relief to telecom operators who are facing bandwidth crunch due to limited availability of data spectrum across conventional mobile bands like 800, 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz.