State-backed telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is expected to complete a replacement communications network for the armed forces by July 2015, the Economic Times reports. The new network, which will be based on fibre-optic and satellite technology, will allow the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to migrate away from its current wireless solution, freeing up some 150MHz of spectrum in the 1700MHz-2000MHz range. Backing the project, the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure has approved funds of INR133.3 billion (USD2.18 billion) for the new network. Based on the 2G spectrum auctions in November 2012, the spectrum was worth an estimated INR3.6 trillion – the actual sale value of the airwaves is likely much lower, however, given the poor turnout for recent frequency tenders. BSNL has floated tenders for 57,000km of optical fibre, and expects to begin deploying the new system in January 2014. The telco plans to launch five tenders between September and November for satellite transmission, microwave radio and networking equipment.