As telecom companies gear up for the biggest-ever telecom spectrum auction, the Telecom Commission on Monday decided to set a minimum 3 per cent spectrum usage charges (SUC) to create a level playing field among operators, according to an official source.
The panel — the highest decision-making authority in telecom policy — is expected to send its recommendations for Cabinet approval next week. The Department of Telecom (DoT) will go by the weighted-average formula but in case the telecom service provider’s SUC is below 3 per cent, it will be charged 3 per cent or higher.
If the proposals are accepted in the Cabinet, then Bharti Airtel will now need to pay 3.8 per cent as minimum SUC charges from about 4.9 per cent earlier, and Reliance Jio Infocomm will pay about 3.05 per cent from the previous weighted-average formula of 2.88 per cent, the source said.
This 3 per cent will be applicable to all the bands, except 2300 MHz. For 2300 MHz, the SUC recommended by the panel is 1 per cent. The government gets around Rs 7,000 crore every year from SUC.
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