Telecom Commission's December 31 meeting on spectrum usage charge deferred

Telecom Commission's December 31 meeting on spectrum usage charge deferred
Telecom Commission's meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 31 to consider the matter of spectrum usage charge has been deferred.

"It's (TC meeting) not there tomorrow. Next date will be known tomorrow only," official sources told PTI.

The inter-ministerial panel was to take a view on levying uniform spectrum usage charge, an issue that has divided telecom operators.

The spectrum usage charge, which is levied annually by government as a percentage of revenue earned by telecom companies from telecom services, varies between 3 and 8 percent in case of mobile operators.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended levying of uniform SUC between 3 and 5 percent from April 1, 2014 across the sector.

This annual fee is currently 1 percent for firms broadband wireless spectrum, including Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL) and Tikona.

While GSM players like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Uninor have been demanding implementation of uniform SUC, RJIL has opposed any such move.

The view taken by the Telecom Commission will be placed before the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on telecom, headed by finance minister P Chidambaram which will decide on the spectrum usage charge.

It will be for the EGoM to move the Cabinet for a final decision on the SUC, sources said.

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