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Need for a new legal framework governing telecommunication in India

GS2/GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Governance/ S&T


Source: PIB

Context: Given emerging technologies such as 5G, IoT, etc., the Ministry of Communication has underscored the need to have a legal framework for these technologies.

Direction: Just go through it once. This is just a draft framework and may change in the future.

Proposals of the New Law:

  • Recognition of exclusive privilege of the government over telecommunication
  • Simplification of regulatory framework related to spectrum allocations.
  • Effective policy for the Right of Way (RoW): Right of way is the legal right, established by a grant from a landowner or long usage, to pass along a specific route through property belonging to another.

CAG on Spectrum allocation:

  • CAG criticized that Spectrum allocation in India is conducted on an ad hoc basis (2012-2021); the spectrum allocated to the government is not optimally used.

What is a spectrum?

Energy travels in the form of waves known as electromagnetic waves. These waves differ from each other in terms of frequencies. This whole range of frequencies is called the spectrum. In telecommunication like TV, radio and GPRS, radio waves of different wavelengths are used.

Mobile phones use two technologies based on different parts of the radio spectrum— GSM (global system for mobile communications) and CDMA (code division multiple access). Most of the radio spectrum is reserved in countries for defence. The rest is available for public use. But following an increase in the number of phone users and new services, countries started auctioning the frequencies to telecom companies.


Insta Links

What is spectrum Auction


Mains Link

Q. Discuss the advantages that 5G technology holds as compared to previous mobile technology. (10M)


Practice Questions

With reference to street lighting, how do sodium lamps differ from LED lamps? (UPSC 2021)

  1. Sodium lamps produce light at 360 degrees but it is not so in the case of LED lamps.
  2. As street lights, sodium lamps have a longer life span than LED lamps.
  3. The spectrum of visible light from sodium lamps is almost monochromatic while LED lamps offer significant colour advantages in street lighting.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

(a) 3 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (c)

Sodium vapour bulbs contain metals that are evaporated into inert gas within the glass casing while LEDs are a solid-state technology. The difference is that sodium vapour lights were the most efficient technology of the 1970s while LEDs are the modern-day equivalent and have more life span.

Q.With reference to Visible Light Communication (VLC) technology, which of the following statements are correct? (UPSC 2020)

  1. VLC uses electromagnetic spectrum wavelengths 375 to 780 nm.
  2. VLC is known as long-range optical wireless communication.
  3. VLC can transmit large amounts of data faster than Bluetooth
  4. VLC has no electromagnetic interference.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only

(b) 1, 2 and 4 only

(c) 1, 3 and 4 only

(d) 2, 3 and 4 only

Answer: C

Visible light communication is a short-range data communications variant which uses visible light between 400 and 800 THz. VLC is a subset of optical wireless communications technologies. The technology uses fluorescent lamps to transmit signals at 10 kbit/s or LEDs for up to 500 Mbit/s over short distances.