Govt may decide on one-time spectrum fee before Oct 19
New Delhi: The government is likely to take a decision on one-time fee for spectrum before October 19, the deadline for operators to submit applications to participate in the auction.
"Yes, that is right," Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar said in response to a query if decision on one-time spectrum fee will be announced before last date for submission of application for spectrum auction.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has fixed October 19 for submission of application by companies willing to participate in the auction.
In July, the Cabinet referred the matter on one-time fee to EGoM to give its view. Later in the month, EGoM had deferred a decision on the matter till the outcome of Presidential Reference.
Following the Supreme Court's opinion on the Presidential Reference, the government is now free to take a decision in this regard.
The DoT had made four proposals to the Cabinet on charging one-time fee held by existing telecom operators.
The proposals included -- no charge for spectrum; levy one-time fee on all airwaves held by existing telecom companies; impose a fee on airwaves held beyond the start-up spectrum of 4.4 MHz; or levy a fee on airwaves held beyond the contracted spectrum of 6.2 MHz.
According to a top DoT official, the department added the option of one-time auction-determined price for all spectrum held by the operators to create a level-playing field between new entrants and incumbents.
Existing players were allocated pan-India permits with 4.4 Mhz of airwaves frequencies at price of Rs 1,658 crore but new telecom operators will have to pay a minimum of Rs 14,000 crore for similar set of airwaves for pan-India business in auction that are scheduled to start in November.