Commission sets 3.0% floor for SUC

27 Jul 2016

India’s Telecom Commission has determined that spectrum usage charge (SUC) fees will continue to be based on a weighted average, but set a floor for the fee at 3.0% of gross revenues. The Economic Times writes that the decision will be considered by the cabinet next week and would result in Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJIL) and Aircel paying more for their airwaves. Many operators – notably incumbents such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular – had requested the introduction of a flat SUC for all operators and across all bands, but the Telecom Commission was forced to reject the request on the basis that it could not increase the charge for broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum in the 2300MHz band above its current 1%. As such, if the decision is accepted by the cabinet, RJIL will pay 1% on its BWA frequencies, and 3.05% for its other spectrum compared to 2.88% under the previous regime, whilst Aircel will pay 3.0% rather than 2.83%.