CDMA operators to be hit by spectrum fee

19 Mar 2013

Indian regulator the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has instructed CDMA operators to pay a one-off fee for spectrum holdings above 2.5MHz in the 800MHz range. The Economic Times writes that the charge will be applicable for the remaining duration of the licence period with the option for cellcos to pay the fee in a single payment or annually. The levy will be based on the reserve price set for CDMA spectrum for the 11 March auction: operators that refuse to pay the additional fee will be required to hand back the excess spectrum. The total amount payable by the nation’s CDMA operators is estimated to be in the region of INR30.33 billion (USD559.59 million). Russian-backed cellco Sistema Shyam TeleServices (MTS India) is reportedly exempt from the payment though, having repurchased concessions in eight circles in March this year after its licences were cancelled by the Supreme Court in February 2012.