Telecom panel to deliberate on SUC rate in Tuesday meeting

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New Delhi | Published: June 4, 2016 7:29:42 AM

Telecom operators represented by the COAI had sought a uniform rate of SUC to avoid any arbitrage

telecom stocks bharti airtel idea cellular reliance communicationTelecom operators represented by the COAI had sought a uniform rate of SUC to avoid any arbitrage (IE)

The telecom commission, the highest decision-making body in the department of telecommunications (DoT), will deliberate on the final rate for the spectrum usage charge (SUC) at its meeting scheduled on Tuesday, June 7, according to a top official.

“We will take up SUC and few smaller issues at our meeting on June 7,” an official said. Other things on the agenda relate to issues to be finalised for the upcoming auctions.

The coming telecom commission meeting assume significance as it will deliberate on a new proposal based on the attorney-general’s opinion on clubbing spectrum sold for broadband wireless access services in 2010, to avoid arbitrage in imposing spectrum usage charges in future. The AG has said that the DoT cannot increase the SUC of 1% of AGR on 2300 Mhz bandwidth, sold in the 2010 auctions, but can club it with other spectrum bands to arrive at a weighted average formula.

Telecom operators represented by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) had sought a uniform rate of SUC to avoid any arbitrage. Reliance Jio, a member of COAI, was not party to the suggestion.

The telecom commission will also deliberate on the modalities and rules for the upcoming spectrum auctions later this year. In its earlier meeting on April 30, the commission had favoured auctioning all spectrum bands at the reserve price suggested by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

It had also decided to ask winning bidders to pay 50% of the winning bid as upfront fee for bandwidth above 1GHz, and 25% upfront for bandwidth in the below-1GHz band, while the remainder is to be paid in 10 annual instalments, after an initial moratorium of two years.

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