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PAC Draft Report

PAC Draft Report

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Published by: kushalmehra on Jun 14, 2011
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In recent times, India has emerged as one of the most dynamic and promisingand fastest growing telecom markets in the world. It has third largest overall telecomnetwork and the second largest wireless network in the world. Mobile telephony andthus Spectrum have played a vital role in the stupendous growth of the telecomservices in India. The word ‘Spectrum’ basically refers to a collection of various typesof electromagnetic radiations of different wavelengths. Radio frequency Spectrum is alimited global natural resource with a high economic value, due to its heavy demand inthe telecommunication sector. It is a finite but non-consumable natural resource. Butit will be wasted if not used efficiently. In India, the radio frequencies are being usedfor around forty different types of services like space communication, mobilecommunication, broadcasting, radio navigation, mobile satellite service, aeronauticalsatellite services, defence communication etc.
Some of the important and typical characteristics of the radio frequencySpectrum are as below:(i) Radio frequency spectrum does not respect international geographicalboundaries as it is spread over a large terrestrial area.(ii) Use of radio frequency spectrum is susceptible to overlappinginterference and requires the application of complex engineering tools toensure interference free operation of various wireless networks.(iii) Unlike other natural resources, radio frequency spectrum is notconsumed upon its usage. It is also liable to be wasted if it is not usedoptimally and efficiently. Radio frequency spectrum usage is, therefore,to be shared amongst the various radio services and must be usedefficiently, optimally and economically in conformity with the provisions of national and international laws.
The limitation of the radio frequency Spectrum is mainly due to the followingfactors:(i) Propagation characteristics of different types of radio waves.(ii) Availability of technology and equipment for different types of radiofrequency spectrum applications.(iii) The suitability of frequency bands for specific applications.
Spectrum allocation is important and necessary to ensure interference freeoperation for each radio service. All nations share the electromagnetic Spectrum andreserve their right to its unlimited use. However, with a view to facilitating internationaltelecommunication cooperation to support trade, transportation, communications andmutual protection against interference, all the countries have agreed to anInternational Telecommunication Convention. Thus, Spectrum frequencies for the useof various countries are allocated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)at the ‘World Radio Communication Conferences’ which are held every three/four years. The last conference was held in 2007. Allocations are made on a regionalbasis and for different types of services. It is mandatory for all the countries to adhereto these allocations. India comes in the region number three.
For the purpose of Spectrum allocation each member country submits itsproposal to the ITU, based on their requirements and priorities for opening of thebands. During the conferences, all the proposals are discussed and decisions areaccordingly taken for opening of the bands for new services or extension of theexisting bands. These decisions are reflected in the International FrequencyAllocation Table of the radio regulation and other regulatory provisions for use of thebands which forms the basis for allotment by the member countries.
Each frequency band is shared amongst various radio services but the sharingis possible only with the use of similar systems. Sharing is also possible by way of geographical separation, time-sharing through technical solutions like smart antennaand intelligent radio system. In India, the radio frequencies are confined between 9KHz and 400 GHz.
The Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) Wing in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Department of Telecommunication)created in 1952 is responsible for Spectrum Management, Wireless licencing andfrequency assignments. WPC is divided into major sections like Licensing andRegulation (LR), New Technology Group (NTG) and the standing Advisory Committeeon Radio Frequency Allocation (SACFA). SACFA makes the recommendations onmajor frequency allocation issues, formulation of the frequency allocation plan andmaking recommendations on various issues related to the ITU to sort out the problemsreferred to the Advisory Committee by various wireless users.
The National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP)–1981 forms the basis for identification of the frequency bands to be allocated for various major users, Spectrumutilization and development and manufacturing of wireless equipment in the country.The NFAP was earlier officially considered as a classified document. But the NewTelecom Policy 1999 decided that it should be made a public document and theSpectrum allocation should be made in a transparent manner. On 1
January, 2000the DoT made the NFAP a public document after due consultations with all thestakeholders. The NFAP is reviewed periodically by the DoT and currently the NFAP,2008 is in vogue. The Plan contains the service options in various frequency bandsfor India and also provides the channeling plan in different bands. Frequency bandsallocated for certain types of radio services in India are as under:
Frequency Band Services
(i) 9 KHZ - 525 KHZ -Martine, Aeronautical Navigation, MediumWave Broadcasting(ii) 525-1625 kHz -Marine and Aeronautical Navigation, short wave broadcasting, Amateur (Hour) radio andCordless Phones.(iii) 1.6-30 MHz - Fixed, Mobile, Maritime, Broadcasting(iv) 30 -87.5 MHz -Fixed Mobile , Broadcasting, Aeronautical Navigation(v) 87.5 - 108 MHz - FM radio(vi) 109 - 173 MHz -Aeronautical Mobile (R ), Radio Navigation andOutdoor Broadcast vans.(vii) 174 - 230 MHz - Television Broadcasting(viii) 230 - 450 MHz -Radio Astronomy, Fixed Mobile Aeronautical,Radio Navigation, Radio Pegging

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