October 14, 2021 3:44:50 am
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), seeking its recommendations on issues such as upfront payment requirements, applicable moratorium, and number of deferred payment instalments for all future auctions where the period of holding will be 30 years.
The DoT has also asked Trai to suggest the conditions for surrender of spectrum licence after 10 years and the fee to be charged in the case, an office memorandum of the telecom department showed.
As per the new set of reforms approved by the Union Cabinet last month, all spectrum auctioned in future will have a validity of 30 years as against 20 years’ validity for the spectrum sold in the past. As part of the reforms, the government had then said that telecom service providers will be able to surrender spectrum they do not need after 10 years.
Telcos, which wish to surrender their spectrum, will, however, have to inform the DoT one year in advance from the date of surrendering the airwave, according to the official notice.
On September 15, the Union Cabinet had approved a set of nine structural and procedural measures, aimed at alleviating sectoral stress by addressing near-term liquidity concerns as well as long-term bottlenecks.
The Cabinet had then also given approvals for major overhaul of the spectrum auction and usage ecosystem, with the government deciding that all future spectrum auctions will normally be held in the last quarter of every financial year, while also waiving off the spectrum usage charges (SUCs).
DoT officials said since SUC is calculated on the basis of a weighted average method, and with the removal of SUC, the minimum 3 per cent weighted average formula will also be gone, the new guidelines on how SUC will be calculated will also be released soon.
Ahead of every spectrum auction that has happened, the government has notified a rate of SUC applicable on airwaves picked by companies during that auction. The quantum of the spectrum won by a company decides the weight of the SUC rate from that year. It is then calculated as the sum of products of the spectrum holding and their respective SUC rates divided by the total spectrum held by each company.
Theoretically, with future auctioned spectrum having 0 per cent rate of SUC, the overall rate for each company should come down, resulting in benefit accretion for mobile companies.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.