Millennium Post

Tata Tele to give up excess spectrum in all circles except Delhi, Mumbai

Tata Teleservices on Wednesday  said it will surrender telecom spectrum beyond 2.5 mega-hertz in all circles barring Delhi and Mumbai in 'protest' against government move to charge one-time fee for airwaves beyond this threshold.

The firm will retain 3.75 MHz of spectrum in Delhi and Mumbai for which it will pay a one-time fee to the government.

'Tata Teleservices, under protest and without prejudice, has intimated its decision to the Department of Telecommunications to surrender spectrum in the CDMA 800 MHz (band) beyond 2.5 MHz in all circles except Mumbai and Delhi,' the company said in a statement.

'In these two metros, the company will retain one additional carrier (1.25 MHz) beyond 2.5 MHz for the balance period of licences, ' it added.

The government had imposed a one-time spectrum fee on telecom companies holding airwaves above 2.5 MHz in the 800 Mhz band used by CDMA operators from January 1 this year.

As per the order, the charges will be levied on additional spectrum for the rest of the licence period and operators not willing to pay these charges will be allowed to surrender their spectrum held above 2.5 Mhz. DoT has issued rates to be charged annually for each megahertz of frequencies, based on the reserve price that was fixed for spectrum auction held on 11 March.

'The company stands committed to ensuring that this will not adversely affect network or service quality and is looking to deploy additional capex to offset the reduced spectrum availability,' the statement said.

The company also sought and obtained stays against the DoT demand for one-time spectrum charges above 2.5 MHz in the 800 MHz band in Kolkata and Mumbai High Courts, it added.
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