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Auto sector in India urges government to de-license radio spectrum bands for telematics tech

Published: February 19, 2015 | New Delhi, India

The auto industry has urged the government to de-license several radio spectrum bands between 314 MHz and 81 GHz for a wide range of vehicle applications starting from keyless entry systems, to hi-end telematics technology such as global positioning systems and car-to-car communication.

The move, it says, will help it locally develop and also export high value premium vehicles from India to developed markets like North America and Europe, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make-in-India campaign.

“Automotive industry requires a large number of radio frequencies. Considering the worldwide harmonization of the radio frequencies, SIAM would like to submit the entire range of radio frequencies required for de-licencing for the automotive applications,” the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said in a letter to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on June 24th last year.

SIAM had written to DoT after global auto body International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) and European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA) both wrote to the DoT on June 4, 2014 on the same subject.

A second letter sent on December 12, 2014 by SIAM, which was also marked to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, re-iterated its position, and asked DoT to hold discussions on the subject with all stakeholders.

Radio frequency allocation falls under the country’s National Frequency Allocation Plan, governed by the DoT. As per industry sources, the government in September 2012 de-licenced only the 433 to 434 MHz band for use in applications like keyless entry and engine immobilisers, but the industry has asked for frequency up to 434.79 MHz for this. For terrestrial transmission, usable frequency is largely below 3 GHz.

Many premium car makers like Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Volvo currently provide several features like radar-based automatic braking, lane detection system and ‘Magic body control’ suspension, but these technologies are often excluded from the same cars models sold in India. Much of these technologies, especially safety features, are now trickling down to the mass car segment as well.

 Source: Business Standard


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