Recent launch of Mobile TV service by Tata along with Swanbay has raised my eyebrows. Reason being; not the gaining popularity of Mobile TV services in India, but spectrum management issues at department level, which might lead to disruption of Mobile TV services in India.

Recent comments by DoT over TRAI’s Spectrum recommendation hasn’t helped it either. TRAI has given primarily two main recommendations about the spectrum in 700 MHz Band.

  1. 585-698 MHz may be earmarked for Digital Broadcasting services like Mobile TV.
  2. 698-806 MHz be earmarked only for IMT Applications.

Government has released National Frequency Allocation Plan-2008, which is effective from 1 Apr 2009. DoT has acted positively on above recommendation and stated that:

” IND 37 In the context of band 585-698 MHz, bearing in mind that the band is predominantly for broadcasting services which include Mobile TV, requirements of IMT & BWA subject to availability of spectrum in the frequency band 698-806 MHz may be considered for coordination on case by case basis as appropriate.”

However DoT has stated that before 698-806 MHz spectrum is allocated to IMT services, which is currently used by Ministry of I&B, will need to refarmed. This is under examination.  Also band 585-698 MHz is predominantly used by broadcasting services & requirement of IMT/DoT for reallocation will be examined on case by case.

So depending on availability of spectrum in 698-806 MHz band, vacating 586-698 MHz band decision will be taken.

At present it appears that spectrum refarming might help, but be cautious. DoT is not willing to extend financial support to private players for spectrum refarming, which will be available to government agencies only. So private players be ready to carry the burden of partial charges arising from Spectrum refarming.

That’s the reason, I always maintained to keep close watch on Policy disruptions & in particular spectrum management issues. BTW does anyone know, in which band Tata has launched Mobile TV services?


Tags : 700 MHz BandFrequency allocationIMT ServiceMobile TVNational Frequency allocation planSpectrum ActTata & Swanbay Mobile TVTata Mobile TVTelecom Spectrum