The Straits Times
Published on Oct 08, 2012

India expects about $6.4b from telecom airwaves fees


NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - India expects to raise at least S$6.4 billion by charging mobile phone carriers a fee for their existing second-generation airwave holdings based on a price to be determined by an upcoming auction, senior government sources said on Monday.

The move will affect older carriers including Bharti Airtel Ltd and Vodafone's Indian unit that are not hit by a Supreme Court order to revoke permits in a scandal-tainted 2008 sale and are not required to bid in the auction.

A ministerial panel recommended to the federal cabinet that GSM-based carriers be asked to pay for airwaves beyond 4.4 mega hertz, while CDMA-based carriers pay for holdings beyond 2.5 mega hertz at the auction-determined price for the remaining validity of their licence periods, the sources who declined to be named said.

The cabinet has the final say on the fees.