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ITU chief urges India to release spectrum for broadband

The head of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has urged India to begin allocating 700Mhz spectrum band for mobile broadband services.

"[The] 700Mhz band will be allocated by 2015 [for mobile broadband only]. In fact, some of the countries have started freeing up that spectrum and allocating it.

"I hope India will follow suit. Some services are using it. They will have to move to other bands as 2015 is the cut-off date for all of those," Hamadoun I Toure, ITU Secretary General is quoted as saying on Tuesday (8 May) by PTI.

Much of the 700Mhz band in India was to be allocated to the public television network, Doordarshan, for mobile TV services. However, earlier this year the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting gave up its claim to the spectrum, and the band has now been allocated for wireless broadband, in line with international standards.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has proposed the price of per megahertz of spectrum in the band be set at INR 14,488 crore.

This will enable to delivery of video content at high speed to mobile devices, as well as other data rich internet based applications.

The first round of auctions for broadband wireless (4G) networks took place in June 2010 and fetched INR38,000 crore for the Indian Government. The next are scheduled by the end of 2012.

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