Incremental spectrum usage charge only on holding in shared band: Trai

Telecom regulator Trai has clarified that in cases involving sharing of radiowaves, the stipulated increment of 0.5 per cent on SUC rate should apply only on spectrum holding in the specific band where sharing is taking place, not on the entire spectrum holding of the licensee.

Trai has also recommended that suitable exit clause for intimation of termination of existing spectrum-sharing arrangement by the operators be included in the spectrum sharing guidelines.

This would offer flexibility to telecom service providers to manage their spectrum on need and commercial basis, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said in a statement.

"It is clarified that as per the existing spectrum-sharing guidelines, an increment of 0.5 per cent on spectrum usage charges (SUC) rate should apply on the spectrum holding in specific band in which sharing is taking place, and not on the entire spectrum holding (all bands) of the licensee," the regulator said.

The recommendations are outcome of consultation paper titled "Methodology of applying spectrum usage charges under the weighted average method of SUC assessment in cases of spectrum sharing" that was floated by Trai in April this year.

The telecom department, in January, had said the existing norms for sharing of access spectrum by operators provide that the SUC rate of each of the licencees post sharing increases by 0.5 per cent of the Adusted Gross revenue (AGR).

The Department of Telecom (DoT) also informed that it has received representations requesting that incremental SUC rate of 0.5 per cent post sharing should be applied only to the particular spectrum band which has been allowed to be shared between the two licencees and not on the entire spectrum held by licencees, since sharing is allowed in a particular band.

It is in this background that DoT requested Trai to furnish its recommendations on whether the incremental 0.5 per cent in SUC rate in cases of sharing of spectrum should be applied only on the specific band in which sharing is taking place; or on the overall Weighted Average Rate of SUC, which has been derived from all bands.

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