"The DoT expects to complete Phase I of spectrum harmonisation in three months. This will free at least 150MHz of airwaves for mobile services in 1700-2000MHz band," an official source told PTI.
As the Phase I of spectrum harmonisation covers six-seven telecom circles for 1700-2000MHz bands, the 150MHz quantum of radiowaves would be available in those areas initially.
The release of 150MHz of spectrum by the Defence to DoT is pending since 2009.
The Cabinet in January 2015, resolved the spectrum tussle between DoT and the Defence by approving a harmonisation plan.
Under the plan, government earmarked bands for exclusive use of security establishment while making available the remaining radiowaves for commercial use in areas like telecom and broadcasting.
Under the harmonisation process, all ministries were required to identify spectrum as per their use and timeline by when they can vacate the excess spectrum by January 2016.
DoT and the Defence Ministry had signed a memorandum of understanding in 2009 to get some spectrum freed from the latter for commercial mobile telephony services.
As part of the MoU, Defence had agreed to vacate 150MHz out of 300MHz that it holds in the frequency bands ranging from 1700MHz to 2000MHz. This band includes frequencies that can be used for transmitting 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile signals.
In return, DoT had committed to set up an exclusive defence network for its communication services.