The telecom commission, the highest decision making authority in the telecom sector, on Monday agreed on two important issues — delinking of spectrum from licences, and imposing a one-time fee on the additional spectrum (beyond 6.2 MHz) that a telecom service provider is holding.
The meeting however remained inconclusive even after eight hours.
“The commission has not taken any final decision,” said R Chandrashekhar, secretary of the department of telecommunications (DoT) and the chairman of the telecom commission.The next meeting of the telecom commission is scheduled for December 1. Final guidelines will be approved by the DoT.
Sources said all members agreed that the old operators should pay market price for the additional 2G spectrum, but could not agree on new merger and acquisition norms.
If telecom licences and spectrum are delinked, then the possibility of a scam is reduced. The idea is that any company can acquire licence by paying a fixed fee. However, it will have to pay market price for spectrum, a scarce national resource.
Existing service operators including Bharti Airtel, Idea and Vodafone Essar hold more than 6.2 MHz of spectrum in a large number of circles for which they have not paid anything extra. In telecom licences, there is no provision for a company to hold more than 6.2 MHz spectrum.