Telecom Lead India: Tata Teleservices 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 company 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,” said Tata Teleservices 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 licenses, Tata Teleservices added.
The government, according to a PTI report, 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 license 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 March 11.
Tata Teleservices will ensure that its services are not impacting its mobile users in these circles. The telecom service provider will be looking to deploy additional capex to offset the reduced spectrum availability.
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.