DoT reconsiders spectrum band for defence forces

20 Nov 2008

India’s Economic Times is reporting that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has resurrected plans in conjunction with the country’s armed forces for a spectrum band specifically set aside for the latter; the plan would see the armed forces develop or purchase technology designed to work only on its band. Similar proposals were initially made in 2005, but were subsequently abandoned, but following recent meetings between officials from the communications and defence ministries, the model is understood to be under consideration once more.

The move comes as other reports indicate that plans for an alternative fibre-optic network for the defence ministry faces delays, and would likely not be completed before 2011; the project will cost an estimated INR100 billion (USD1.9 billion). The defence forces have previously stated that spectrum currently in use would not be vacated until an alternative was provided, and with the auction for 3G licences due soon, the DoT is keen to free up spectrum for successful bidders.