DoT rejects BSNL plea for lower spectrum, licence charges

15 Jul 2010

India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has rejected a request from state-owned operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) that it pay licence fees and spectrum charges equivalent to those paid by private operators, the Hindu Business Line reports. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in March 2010 the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) stayed a directive issued by the government that was set to increase taxes on wireless spectrum, but as BSNL was not part of the petition filed with the tribunal it has been paying the higher charges since April. Subsequently BSNL wrote to the DoT arguing that it should be allowed to pay the same, lower fees as its private competitors, but in light of the decision BSNL will not make the savings of around INR20 billion (USD428 million) per year that it had expected if the regulator had okayed the lower charges.