TRAI invites comments on SUC review

Currently, charges rise by 0.5% of AGR

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Wednesday sought comments from stakeholders on the need to take a relook at the current methodology of assessment of spectrum usage charge (SUC) payable by operators in case of sharing of airwaves.

Currently, the SUC rate for each licensee post-sharing of spectrum increases by 0.5% of Adjusted Gross Revenue. However, the Department of Telecom received representations that the incremental SUC should be applied only to the particular spectrum band which has been allowed to be shared between the two licensees and not on the entire spectrum held by the licensees.

“In this background, DoT has requested TRAI to furnish its recommendations on (i) whether the incremental 0.5% in SUC rate in cases of sharing of spectrum should be applied only on the specific band in which sharing is taking place or to the overall weighted average rate of SUC, which has been derived from all bands and (ii) any other recommendations deemed fit for the purpose,” the regulator said.

In the consultation paper, TRAI noted SUC was an administrative charge, payable to the government towards the administrative cost for management of spectrum. as the TSPs (telecom service providers) are already paying SUC for the spectrum allotted to them as a percentage of AGR, the sharing of spectrum may not necessarily justify additional SUC burden on them. It added that the revenue earned by a TSP depends on many factors such as competition, customer profile, affordability level, cost of inputs and tariff.

“...if SUC rate is left unchanged post sharing of spectrum, the TSPs would be more than willing to use spectrum sharing to improve their network in areas having congestion and also fix coverage issues. “Therefore, it may be necessary to revisit the application and treatment of SUC post sharing of spectrum,” it added.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 8:58:02 AM |

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