Telecom commission has now declared that it will charge a one-time fee for extra spectrum that goes beyond the 6.2 MHz contract, as per reports by The Economic Times. This decision of DoT’s highest decision making body may put a financial burden on older GSM operators. Reportedly, the commission has also decided that it will charge for spectrum between 4.4 Mhz and 6.2 Mhz on the basis of auction, once a notification has been given. TRAI recommends the one-time fee, which has been computed by experts. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI) recommends that each megahertz of extra spectrum after crossing the 6.2 MHz limit would be charged a one-time Rs.4,571.87 crores (All India).
'Pay for extra spectrum…but one-time
“The one-time spectrum fee would be charged beyond 6.2 MHz ‘from the date of allocation of spectrum,” say sources. Telcos like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea have opposed this saying that this wasn’t a clause in the telecom licenses and such rule cannot be imposed on telcos. They also claim that the allotment of the spectrum was as per the policy of the day.
TRAI has also suggested that the fees should vary from circle to circle and the telcos should be liable to pay only for a particular sector for the extra spectrum. The operators, however are in favor of an auction to determine the one-time fee to be charged for the spectrum beyond 6. 2 Mhz. Although there is said to be unanimity in telecom communications over the issue of one time and extra price for the extra spectrum, the final decision would be taken by the government.
TRAI has taken several initiatives for the benefit of consumers, last year. It lately waived the cap over computer-based SMSes that can be sent for businesses. It has asked telcos to keep the tariff of their plans transparent and stop charging any additional amount on special occasions.