GSM Industry body COAI, on Thursday, referred to the Centre’s decision to levy a one-time fee on telecom companies holding spectrum beyond a specific limit as a “violation” of the licence agreement between operators and the Government.

“We are in complete disagreement with today’s decision. It is violative to licence condition. Government has been saying that all the spectrum allocated was as per the rule. Now this U—turn is surprise,” Cellular Operators Association of India Director General Rajan S Mathews said.

Industry experts said that the decision to levy a one-time fee on excess spectrum held by incumbents, would put pressure on the sector even further, at a time when margins being squeezed due to interest costs caused by debts for 3G.—PTI