Agreeing with the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM)’s recommendations, the Union Cabinet has approved a levy of 5 per cent as spectrum usage charge (SUC) for radio waves for which eight companies will bid from Monday.

PTI reports:

The government statement said licensees who do not acquire spectrum in this auction shall continue to pay SUC according to the existing slab rate.

It currently ranges from 3 to 8 per cent for mobile operators and 1 per cent for firms with Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum such as those of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd and internet service provider Tikona.

The rate for BWA has been kept unchanged. “In respect of BWA spectrum acquired through auction in 2010, SUC will continue to be charged as per present practise, and the operator would be required to report the revenue earned from BWA spectrum separately,” the statement added.

Cabinet noted that as a matter of policy, it is desirable to move to a flat rate of SUC and adoption of a weighted average would provide a path for such transition.

“As 800 MHz spectrum is not being auctioned in the forthcoming auction and the recommendation of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been sought for the reserve price, the decision in respect of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) spectrum will be taken at an appropriate time," it added.