Cabinet okays higher spectrum payment instalment, airwave holding cap revision

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New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) In a much awaited relief to the telecom service providers, the Cabinet on Wednesday approved restructuring of the deferred payment liabilities of spectrum auction and revising the limit of the cap for spectrum holding.

“By giving one-time opportunity to opt for higher number of instalment (maximum 16 instalments) apart from currently permitted 10 instalments,” an official statement said.

“The increased instalment is based upon the principle that the Net Present Value (NPV) of the payment due is protected as per respective notice inviting application for auction of spectrum from 2012. The total amount received will be higher by Rs 74,446.01 crore till 2034-35,” it added.

The statement said with the restructuring of the deferred payment liability, the cash flow for the telecom service providers will increase in the immediate time-frame providing them some relief.

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An inter-ministerial panel was formed to look into the falling health of the telecom industry which had recommended these measures to the government.

“The overall spectrum cap is revised from the current limit of 25 per cent to 35 per cent,” the statement said.

“The current intra-band cap is removed. Instead, there is a cap of 50 per cent on the combined spectrum holding in the sub-1 GHz bands (700 MHz, 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands),” it added.

There will be no cap for individual or combined spectrum holding in above 1 GHz band.

“The revised spectrum caps limits may be revisited after Final Acts of World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) 2019,” the statement added.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had recommended revision in the existing limits of cap for spectrum holding taking into consideration the technological advancement, efficient use of spectrum, and measures to facilitate consolidation.

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Revising the limit for the spectrum cap holding will facilitate consolidation of telecom licensees and may encourage the participation in the future auction, the statement said.



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