Telcom firms must pay for spectrum beyond 6.2 MHz: DoT to EGoM
By Parvina Purkayastha - Fri Oct 05, 1:02 pm
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The telecom department has told the finance minister P Chidambaram headed panel of ministers that operators must pay for excess spectrum they hold beyond the 6.2 MHz limit, irrespective of whatever methodology or option the government chooses to impose a one-time airwave charge on existing mobile phone companies.
As per Department of Telecommunication‘s (DoT) calculations, telecom giants such as Bharti, Idea and Vodafone must shell out a minimum of Rs 22,640 crore if the Empowered Group of Ministers on spectrum endorses its stance in the October 8 meet. On the other hand, these companies might have to shell out a far higher amount if the panel of ministers decides to ask incumbent operators to pay the auction-determined price for all the airwaves they currently hold, or for spectrum above the 4.4 MHz mark.
The DoT had presented three different options to this panel of ministers, to impose a one-time fee prospectively on all airwaves held by existing telecommunication companies, to levy this fee on airwaves held beyond the start-up spectrum of 4.4 MHz; or to levy this fee on airwaves held beyond the contracted spectrum of 6.2 MHz.
While the DoT has presented three options to the EGoM, it is learnt that the department is not in favour of imposing this one-time fee prospectively on all airwaves held by existing telcos. The DoT wants the EGoM to take a call on charging this fee for all airwaves beyond 4.4 MHz after receiving the opinion of the attorney general, the highest law official in the country. The department is, however, firm on the one-time fee being imposed prospectively for all excess airwaves beyond the contracted limit of 6.2 MHz.
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