New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has sought details from the Telecom Ministry about availability of spectrum and its allocation to different agencies including defence and private users like mobile operators to ensure that the scarce resource was being utilised effectively.

The CAG has also sought information about price at which the spectrum was allocated to all agencies.

The CAG would look into the fees paid by the agencies, departments and companies who bought spectrum and also if they are using the allotted frequencies in its true capacity.

The initiative comes in the wake of fact that spectrum is lying idle with some of the agencies as well with some private users, sources said.

All this information would help the CAG in assessing how efficiently the spectrum is being utilised.

The CAG had quantified a presumptive loss of over Rs 1.76 lakh crore due to sale of 2G spectrum in 2008 by former Telecom Minister A Raja and the matter is being investigated by various agencies.

DoT, I&B claim right over 700 Mhz band

Meanwhile, Ministries of Telecom and Information and Broadcasting have reached stalemate as both of them are claiming right over the allocation of 700 Mhz band of spectrum.

Ministry of I&B claimed that the spectrum in 700 Mhz is reserved for public broadcaster Doordarshan (DD), while the Ministry of Communication and IT has denied such claims saying the spectrum was required for expansion of mobile (IMT) and broadband wireless services (BWA).

The 700 Mhz band is considered to be very efficient and could fetch the government revenues more than it got through auctioning of 3G spectrum last year.

According to officials, spectrum in 700 Mhz band can entail minimum investment in infrastructure by the telecom firms.

“In 700 Mhz frequency band, spectrum was earmarked for them but never allocated. There is process for spectrum allocation. An organisation needs to obtain wireless operating license (WOL) to use spectrum and frequently renew it. Doordarshan never did it,” officials in the DoT said.

The I&B Ministry in its recent communication to DoT has said that DD has 40 Mhz frequency assignment for mobile video link and 8 Mhz for digital transmission in four metros.

The Ministry is working on policy for mobile TV. It has received recommendation from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in 2008 on mobile TV services but cited non-availability of adequate spectrum for delay in policy formation.

The frequency band of 700 Mhz is in high demand by players in broadcast and mobile industry.

(Agencies)