The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has told the Department of Telecom that all spectrum allocated to various government agencies should be monitored if they are using it efficiently or not.
“TRAI had in its May 2010 recommendations specified that it should be entrusted with the task of carrying out a review of the present usage of spectrum available with the government agencies so as to identify the possible areas where spectrum can be refarmed, and to draw up a suitable schedule. TRAI had also recommended that a specific fund for spectrum refarming be created,” said a senior TRAI official.
This assumes significance in the light of an inquiry being conducted by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on a deal between the Indian Space Research Organisation and Bangalore-based Devas Multimedia. The Department of Space has been given 150 Mhz of spectrum in the 2500 Mhz band, which is considered to be valuable for commercial telecom services. Of the 150 Mhz with the DoS, 70 Mhz has been bundled with the transponders to be leased out to Devas.
According to the TRAI, the total requirement of spectrum in the next five years would be of the order of 500 to 800 MHz and therefore air waves allotted to various government agencies should be reviewed. “The old assignments made to Defence and other government and public sector entities need to be immediately reviewed and replaced with the existing spectrum efficient technologies. The Authority is of the view that a medium and long-term plan for refarming of spectrum in different bands needs to be taken up and existing assignments should be shifted appropriately,” TRAI had said in its May 2010 recommendations.