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PM says ISRO allegations baseless

The Prime Minister of India has denied media reports that the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has allocated a large chunk of prime satellite and ground spectrum to a private company for a few hundred crores of rupees. The ISRO comes under the Department of Space, currently under the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

In a statement, the PM’s office denied that any such spectrum had been awarded to the firm. “It is further clarified that no decision has been taken by the Government to allocate space segment using S-Band Spectrum to ANTRIX or Devas. Hence, the question of revenue loss does not arise and any such reports are without basis in fact,” it said.

S Band spectrum, that lies adjacent to the broadband wireless spectrum, is considered as suitable for further extension of ground-based services such as broadband itself — raising its value. In comparison, C and Ku band spectra are sold at much cheaper rates as they are considered unsuitable for ground-based services due to low indoor-penetration characteristics.

A report by the Hindu daily had alleged that ISRO had allocated territorial use of S-Band spectrum to Devas as part of a satellite-transponder allocation deal. ISRO’s commercial arm regularly inks deals with private companies to lease transponder space on satellites. The satellite capacity also carries with it the right to make use of the corresponding spectrum.

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