Telecom regulator TRAI has urged the government to consult it before deciding on a uniform license fee for operators, saying it has implications on the Centre’s revenue as well as of the service providers.
The Department of Telecom has decided that the existing variable licence fee structure for telecom operators should be replaced with a uniform one. An departmental note suggests a uniform licence fee of 8.5 per cent for all types of services.
In a letter to DoT on Friday, TRAI said the proposed change in the license fee would impact both government revenue and the operators’ businesses which, in turn, will affect the subscribers.
TRAI said the views of all stakeholders must be taken into cosideration before arriving at the new figure.
A DOT official said minister A Raja would take a call if the matter is referred to TRAI. But the DOT feels the Telecom Commission, the policy-making wing of the DOT, should take the final call on this.
If the matter is referred to TRAI, then it is going to be a long haul as the DoT may insist on a time—bound response while TRAI would like to do it through the usual consultation and recommendation process.
The uniform licence fee is mooted to help avoid arbitrage over integrated operators allegedly loading up maximum revenues on licences with lower fee.