Telcos to pay more as spectrum fees for microwave access hiked | india | Hindustan Times
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Telcos to pay more as spectrum fees for microwave access hiked

india Updated: Nov 16, 2008 13:04 IST

Government has significantly hiked radio waves fees for microwave access and backbone network, which are necessary to run mobile operations.

A DoT notification said spectrum charges (licence fee plus royalty) for microwave access and backbone network of GSM and CDMA operators beyond the sixth carrier (spectrum allocated for the sixth time for continuing operations) has been hiked with effect from November 3.

Telecom Commission has already approved the increase which comes on the heels of a rise in spectrum usage charges.

Department of Telecom has increased the revenue-share from as low as 0.40 per cent to almost four per cent for different slabs of spectrum requirement.

Operators were paying 0.40 per cent of the of the AGR earlier which would now be 1.85 per cent for the seventh carrier of 28 MHz.

Similarly for the eight carrier, telcos were charged at .45 per cent of the AGR. This is now increased to 2.30 per cent. An operator getting extra spectrum through the 11th carrier would now pay 3.95 per cent from 60 per cent of the AGR till now.

The Commission had earlier cleared a proposal to impose one per cent additional spectrum usage charges for radio waves below 8 MHz and two per cent above 8 MHz. This would come into effect from January next, he said.

The move is likely to generate an additional Rs 4,000 crore-Rs.5,000 crore for the exchequer as mobile operators such as Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Idea will have to shell out more.

The DoT, however, could not decide on the proposal to levy a one-time charge on players having over 6.2 MHz of spectrum which as per sources could also run up to Rs 4000 crore as well.