The Government is likely to get about Rs 24,000 crore from one-time spectrum fee that has been levied on existing operators for holding radiowaves beyond a prescribed limit.
Sources said Rs 4,251.83 crore is expected from retrospective charges and another Rs 18,925.82 will come from prospective charges. In all, Rs 23,977.65 crore is expected from levy of one-time spectrum fee.
Telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, BSNL, MTNL, Aircel and Reliance Communications will have to pay one-time spectrum fee for which demand notices have been issued. The companies will need to start paying up within 10 days.
According to a CNBC-TV18 report, the one-time fee is likely to be challenged by the telcos. Among the telcos, Bharti Airtel has been asked to pay Rs 5,200 crore as one-time fee, while Vodafone has to pay Rs 3,599.40 crore, RCom and Idea are to pay Rs 173.47 crore and Rs 1,882 crore, respectively, the CNBC-TV18 report, said.
Telecom operators have been asked to pay the amount in equal annual instalments for the balance number of years of licence in a manner that the last instalment is paid a year before the expiry of company’s licences.
Telecom operators not willing to pay the one-time fee have been given the option to surrender their additional and excess spectrum.
Earlier, telecom operators were given 4.4 MHz of spectrum with licence at price of Rs 1,658 crore for pan-India operations and later they were entitled to get 1.8 MHz spectrum on fulfilment of certain subscriber base criteria. In November, the government decided that existing operators should pay for holding spectrum above 6.2 MHz retrospectively, from July 2008 to January 1, 2013. For spectrum above 4.4MHz, they would have to pay for the remaining period of their licences starting January 1, 2013.
The price of the spectrum was determined on the basis of the price discovered in the 1800 MHz spectrum auction last year. Sources said the Department of Telecom (DoT) has tentatively fixed provisional rate for spectrum in 1800 Mhz band for Delhi, Mumbai, Rajasthan and Karnataka circles where it did not receive any bids, and for the more efficient 900 MHz band.
Auction of the unsold spectrum in 1800 MHz is due to start from March 11 after which auction of 900 MHz and 800 MHz will follow. No decision was taken with respect to charging CDMA operators as the spectrum in this band attracted no bidders in November, 2012.
With inputs from PTI