GSM-based mobile players, under attack from CDMA lobby for allegedly getting additional spectrum free of cost, on Friday countered the charge saying they have paid about Rs 1,800 crore on radio waves till date.
"GSM operators are paying an extremely high charge for the additional spectrum that is alloted to them," it said in a letter to Telecom Minister A Raja.
As per the existing regime, the GSM industry over the next three years alone will pay over Rs 10,000 crore as spectrum usage charges to the government, of which almost Rs 6,000 crore would be on account on the high incremental charges being applied by the government over and above the initial two per cent charges.
Spectrum is not being given away free to the GSM operators and in fact a very heavy price is being imposed on the operators as charges for GSM spectrum use, TV Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) director general Ramachandran said in the letter to Raja.
The lobby claimed that the government is likely to recover 10 times the entry fee over licence period from spectrum usage charges.
As per the current formula, GSM operators with 10 MHz of frequency are paying a charges of four per cent of Adjusted Gross Revenue and this would increase to six per cent for allocation of 15 MHz, Ramachandran said.