COAI urges government, telecom panel for uniform spectrum usage charges

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New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) The Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) has requested the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and the Telecom Commission to implement a uniform spectrum usage charge (SUC) across all bands for the industry, an official statement said here.

Currently, different SUC rates are applicable for spectrum assigned at different points of time. The new norms are expected to bring uniformity and introduce a level-playing field.

“Uniform spectrum usage charge will not only bring simplification, but also eliminate the possibility of arbitrage. Varied SUC rates can cause a lot of ambiguities while entering into transactions pertaining to mergers & acquisition deals, spectrum sharing and spectrum trading. Disparate rates can lead to disputes and create a non-level playing field and arbitrage,” said Rajan S. Mathews, director general, COAI.

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Uniform SUC rate will ensure level playing field and remove the arbitrage, the industry body said.

“Government did similar exercise for licence fee by bringing various licence fee rates to a uniform level of 8 percent of adjusted gross revenue. In addition, there is no rationale for different SUC rates, as a majority of the spectrum is being liberalized and utilized for same technologies,” the statement added.



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