DoT says no to GSM excess spectrum charge

14 Aug 2008

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has rejected calls for GSM operators holding excess spectrum to be charged a one-off fee, Indian news source The Economic Times is reporting. Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh had suggested that cellcos who held more than 6.2MHz of spectrum should face a charge of up to INR30 billion (USD704 million) in a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office. GSM operators, including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Essar, had argued that such penalties would be ‘improper and legally untenable’, and the proposal had also met with objection from the Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The rejection by the DoT is understood to have been made due to concerns that any charges levied may prompt legal action by GSM players against the government.

India, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India