Moving ahead for the next round of spectrum auction in 2016, the department of telecommunications (DoT) and the defence ministry are finally working out the modalities for swapping 1900 megahertz (MHz) band of 2G spectrum with 2100 MHz of 3G spectrum.
DoT and defence ministry representatives have also held discussions with private telecom companies for the smooth transition of swapping of 330 MHz of 1900 MHz band — currently with the DoT — with equal quantum of 2100 MHz — which is with the defence ministry.
The government plans to auction 15 MHz of 2100 MHz band of 3G spectrum in the next round of spectrum auction which is expected to be conducted sometime during the end of FY16. This year in March it had auctioned 5 MHz each in the 17 circles.
However, government sources said that some CDMA operators are resisting swapping of 1900 MHz band with 2100 Mhz band of airwaves as they claim that since 1900 MHz band of spectrum was earlier earmarked for their growth path, they should be given some preference for the 2100 MHz, if it comes to the government through the swap arrangment.
Besides the swapping issue, the government is also exploring the possibility of auctioning 35 MHz of 700 MHz band of spectrum.
The 700 MHz band airwaves is considered more efficient than any of the bands — 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz — allotted in India so far and have better propagation characteristics, which means better coverage and faster data speed.