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|March 13, 1999
Freeing Air Force frequencies to cost Rs 3.45 billionThe Indian Air Force will receive Rs 3.45 billion for upgrading and relocating its telecommunications frequencies.
Increasing use of the finite electromagnetic spectrum had led to the demand of swapping certain frequencies that were being used by the defence forces.
Under the new policy, the applications that would have to relocate their frequencies includes those used for aeronautical and maritime safety communications, radar, seismic surveys, rocket and satellite launching, Earth exploration and natural calamity forecasting.
The Spectrum Management Committee of the Group of Telecommunications, headed by Signals Officer-in-Chief Lieutenant General Prakash Gokarn, has suggested the creation of a 10 MHz spectrum for the whole country with reserves for Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta and Madras, which will be coordinated on a case-by-case basis.
To achieve this reserve, the IAF will need to upgrade its technology from analogue to the digital in the Gujarat and Maharashtra segments of the Western Sector as well as the Northeastern, Eastern and Central Sectors.
The total expenditure for the two areas is an estimated Rs 1.4 billion and Rs 2.05 billion, respectively, and it is suggested that the IAF will be compensated for the changeover, the release said.
The spectrum management committee pointed out that unless this change is made in a time-bound manner it would not be possible to coordinate the reserve.
The report of the committee, which has been submitted to the prime minister, indicates that of the approximately 165 MHz coordinated so far for commercial use by two basic and two cellular operators with the inclusion of new set of 'chunks' and 'windows' within the spectrum, there is scope for the addition of three more basic and cellular operators.
The statement said that the government is aware that the electromagnetic spectrum is a 'scarce resource' and must be utilised optimally in the national interest.
''Therefore, efficient spectrum management needs to be the art and science of carefully planning spectrum allocation in a coordinated manner without compromising national interests and then speedily and efficiently assigning frequencies for the benefit of the users at large and with minimal scope of harmful interference,'' the committee said in its report.
The frequencies assigned to India by the International Telecommunications Union are shared by the defence forces, police, intelligence organisations, public, telecommunications, broadcasting, railways, public utility services, oil and electricity grids, atomic energy, mining and steel, shipping and airlines etc, the statement said.
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