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Decision on spectrum usage charge likely Jan 27

Posted on Jan 25 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Jan 25 : The empowered group of ministers is expected to take a final decision on spectrum usage charges (SUC) Jan 27.

At a meeting held by the Telecom Commission Saturday, three options for SUC -- 3 percent with weighted average, 5 percent with weighted average and continuing with the current charge-- were discussed.

The EGoM will decide on one of the options, Telecom Secretary M.F.Farooqui told reporters after the meeting.

The SUC is levied annually as a percentage of revenue earned by telecom companies, which varies from 3-8 percent. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had earlier suggested a uniform 3-5 percent fee from April 1 across the telecom services for a successful next round of spectrum auction.

Eight telecom service providers have applied to take part in the second generation (2G) spectrum auction due Feb 3, 2014.

The companies are Reliance Communications, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Telewings, Aircel, Tata Teleservices and Idea Cellular.

The total spectrum to be put on auction is 46 MHz in 900 MHz band and 403.2 MHz in 1,800 MHz band.

The government expects to mop up Rs.40,874.50 crore from this spectrum auction.

In 2012-13, the government's revenue collection from SUC was Rs.5,689 crore.

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