September 24, 2022

New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) In a big relief for telecom companies, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has scrapped the 3 percent floor rate on spectrum usage charge (SUC). As the government prepares for 5G spectrum allotment next month, the telcos had been demanding to scrap the SUC floor rate, equivalent to 3 percent of adjusted gross revenue (AGR), to cut their 5G spectrum payouts. The DoT, in its latest SUC computation order that came out late on Tuesday, did not mention the 3 percent floor rate, which means it has been scrapped, industry watchers said.

charges for spectrum

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) welcomed the much-awaited DoT order regarding the levy of SUC charges for spectrum in 600, 700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300, 2500, 3300 MHz, and 26GHz bands. “The order will provide clarity to telecom service providers for the upcoming auctions,” said Lt Gen Dr. SP Kochhar, DG, COAI. The government is
set to launch 5G spectrum bids at the end of next month. The Union Cabinet has approved the telecom department’s proposal to conduct an auction through which spectrum will be assigned to the successful bidders for providing 5G services to the public and enterprises.

The spectrum auction will begin on July 26

Payments for spectrum can be made in 20 equal annual installments in advance at the beginning of each year. It is expected to significantly ease cash flow requirements and lower the cost of doing business in the telecom sector. The spectrum auction will begin on July 26. The Department of Telecom has released a notice inviting applications (NIA) for the auction of spectrum in 600,700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300, 2500, 3300 MHz, and 26GHz bands. The last date for submission of the application is July 8 and it will give an indication of potential participants for the auction and earnest money deposit on July 20 which will indicate the maximum spectrum payout for each telco. Further, the spectrum purchased in the upcoming auction will have two payment options.

The first one is full or part upfront payment of the total bid amount within 10 days of auction completion. Part payment should be made at least for two years’ installment or multiple complete years.

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