New policy to charge telcos 8 percent uniform licence fee
The universal licence fee will be implemented in two phases over two years. However, industry was demanding a lower licence fee of 6% of adjusted gross revenues while tTRAI had recommended 8%.
New Delhi: The Telecom Commission has recommended a uniform licence fee of 8 percent as against existing 6-10 percent depending upon the type of service and circle.
The universal licence fee will be implemented in two phases over two years, Telecom Secretary R Chandrasekhar said here after a five-hour long meeting of the Telecom Commission, the highest decision making body of the Telecom Ministry.
The telecom industry was demanding a lower licence fee of 6 percent of adjusted gross revenues (AGR) while the sectoral regulator TRAI had recommended 8 percent of AGR.
"Besides this, the commission also accepted TRAI recommendation on merger and acquisition," Chandrasekhar said adding that the Telecom Ministry would ask the regulator to review its suggestion on market cap of the merged entity.
Trai had recommended that if an entity, post a merger or acquisition, has up to 35 percent market share, it would be considered in 'green line' or safe harbour.
Above 35 percent but less than 60 percent would be referred to Trai, which will carry out detailed examination to ensure that there is no market dominance abuse, he added. On a controversial issue of one-time charge for extra spectrum, held by incumbent GSM operators, the Telecom Commission said the charge will not be ruled out.
Trai had recommended that each Mhz of additional spectrum, after the 6.2 MHz limit held by operators, should have one-time cost of Rs 4,571.87 crore for all of India. Chandrasekhar, however, declined to divulge the amount of one-time cost to be levied on the operators.
The commission has recommended that in future additional spectrum will be alloted through the auction route, he added. The commission will send all these decisions to the Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal and subsequently it will see Cabinet's node to implement them.