Vodafone, TTSL and Aircel book higher revenues in STD biz, alleges TRAI

Telecom Lead India: Vodafone, Tata Teleservices and
Dishnet (Aircel) are allegedly causing losses to the Indian government by
booking higher revenues towards long-distance calls, according to TRAI.

TRAI, in its communication to the telecom department,
said that these three companies were booking higher revenues in their STD
business to avoid higher licence fee. The regulator has also pointed out that
telcos share only 6 percent of their revenues from long distance with the

STD calls attract the lowest level of levies or revenue share and booking
higher revenues in this segment reduces the licence fee that operators will
have to pay the government.

The regulator said that these operators were passing off
some of their revenues from local calls and other services as that from STD

These operators are supposed to share 10 percent of their
total revenues from metros and Category A Circles such as Gujarat and Tamil
Nadu as licence fee. However, they currently share 8 percent of their total
sales from Category B regions such as Kerala and Punjab as licence fee while
for category C areas such as Bihar and Orissa, the revenue share is at 6 percent,
Economics Times reported.

The regulator in its analysis said that booking higher revenues towards STD
calls had resulted in Vodafone saving between Rs 42.5 crore and Rs 62.3 crore
in levies between December 2010 and September 2011 while for Tata Teleservices,
the savings in licence fee was between Rs 92 lakh and Rs 3.7 crore during the
same period.

The corresponding figure for Aircel, which operates Dishnet Wireless, is
between Rs 71,000 to Rs 19.3 lakh, Trai added.


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