Telecom Commission to meet in 2-3 days to finalise spectrum fee

New Delhi: Unable to finalise its views on the annual spectrum fee today, inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission will meet again after 2-3 days to discuss the matter, sources said.

"Telecom Commission discussed the matter (spectrum usage charge) but it needs further deliberations. There will be another meeting next 2-3 days for further discussion," a government official said after meeting.

 Telecom Commission to meet in 2-3 days to finalise spectrum fee

Representational image. Reuters

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had in September recommended levying a uniform spectrum usage charge (SUC) of 3 percent of the revenues earned by mobile operators from April1, 2014 and keeping the upper limit of SUC at 5 percent.

Levied annually by the government, SUC varies from 3-8 percent for mobile service providers and 1 percent for holders of broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum that can be used for 4G services.

The uniform SUC, if implemented as recommended by Trai, will provide relief to mobile operators such as Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, but will increase rates for BWA spectrum holders including Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL).

"Telecom Commission will look at exploring additional options for a revenue neutral regime," the source said.

The panel is learnt have worked out 6 SUC scenarios and their probable revenue impact on the exchequer.

While GSM players like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Uninor have been demanding implementation of uniform SUC, RJIL has opposed any such move.

Videocon Telecom has too opposed any change SUC regime for spectrum that has been already allocated but has demanded to bring it down to 1 percent for spectrum procured throughauction route.

PTI

Updated Date: Dec 21, 2014 01:35:07 IST