Telcos owe Rs587.24 cr in licence fee, spectrum charges

Telcos owe Rs587.24 cr in licence fee, spectrum charges

New Delhi: The government on Friday said telecom companies have a total outstanding of Rs587.24 crore as dues for licence fee and spectrum charges.

The amount includes Rs36.57 crore dues towards licence fee and Rs550.67 crore for spectrum charges from the various telecom companies, minister of state for communications and IT Milind Deora informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

Bharti Airtel owes Rs17.66 crore as license fee and Rs129.80 crore in spectrum charges.

Reliance Communications and Idea Cellular owe Rs132.56 crore and Rs27.94 crore as spectrum charges respectively, besides Spice Communications (Rs3.29 crore), Aircel (Rs1.77 crore) and MTNL (Rs4.92 crore).

Besides, Deora said that apart from the entry fee charged by the Department of Telecom (DoT) towards grant of cellular and UAS licences from 2001 onwards, no separate up-front charge has been levied for allotment of 6.2 MHz of GSM or 5 MHz of CDMA spectrum to cellular licensees.

However, annual spectrum usage charges are being levied from these licencees as a percentage of adjusted gross revenue, he added.

Telecom regulator Trai (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) in its recommendations last year on ‘Spectrum Management and Licensing Framework’ said that the contracted spectrum for all the access licences issued in or after 2001 is 6.2 MHz and 5 MHz in respect of GSM and CDMA operators.

Deora said the recommendations of May 2010 are under considerations of the government and being a matter of policy formation, it is not feasible to specify a timeframe for final decision.