The Telegraph
Tuesday , January 22 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Auction of 700MHz spectrum in 2014

Kapil Sibal at the launch of a UIDAI report in New Delhi on Monday. Picture by Prem Singh

New Delhi, Jan. 21: The scope for providing high-speed 4G services will be considerably enhanced with the auction of spectrum in the 700 MHz band next year. Telecom minister Kapil Sibal today said the government planned to auction the spectrum in 2014. 4G services are now offered solely in the 2,300MHz band.

“We are going to auction the 700 band in any case by 2014,” Sibal said while commissioning the country’s first lab to measure specific absorption rate (SAR) of mobile handsets.

The 700 MHz spectrum band ranges from 698MHz to 806MHz and has been identified by the International Telecommunication Union for telecom services. It is considered as one of the most valuable slots for telecom services as most of the latest technology can be transmitted in this band. Investment in infrastructure is also likely to be lower in 700MHz compared with other higher frequencies.

The government is selling spectrum in the 1,800MHz, 900MHz and 800MHz bands in March this year. It expects to generate over Rs 20,000 crore from this auction.

Sibal today inaugurated a lab to test mobile phones for electromagnetic radiation.

The Telecommunication Engineering Centre SAR lab, which has been commissioned at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore, is the first such lab in the country, self-certified by mobile handset manufacturers and importers.

The lab is capable of making radiation measurement in CDMA, GSM 2G and 3G mobile handsets in the frequency band of 800MHz, 900MHz, 1,800MHz and 2,100MHz.