Telcos oppose one-time charge for extra spectrum

“For finalising the one-time charge applicable beyond 6.2 MHz, we support the route of auction instead of TRAI recommendations, which in our view are arbitrary and without a strong rationale," an internal communication of the DoT said, quoting the joint representation of telecom operators

New Delhi: Facing huge outgo on account of extra spectrum held by them, leading telecom operators including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone have contested any move of the telecom ministry to levy one-time charge on it, saying there is no such policy as per the licence, reports PTI.

The government is in the process to levy one-time charge on old GSM operators—Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea—for holding extra spectrum beyond the contractual limit of 6.2 MHz as recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

On their joint representation, sent to telecom minister Kapil Sibal, the Department of Telecom (DoT) is likely to consider the view at the Telecom Commission meeting scheduled to be held later this month.

TRAI had recommended that each MhZ of additional spectrum, after the 6.2 MHz limit, held by operators should cost a one-time Rs4,571.87 crore (all-India).

“In case DoT wishes to shift from the current regime of graded spectrum usage charges to one-time fee beyond 6.2 MHz, it should be on prospective basis, with a commensurately reduced spectrum usage charge.

“For finalising the one-time charge applicable beyond 6.2 MHz, we support the route of auction instead of TRAI recommendations, which in our view are arbitrary and without a strong rationale," an internal communication of the DoT said, quoting the joint representation of telecom operators.

However, TRAI had recommended that the one-time fee would vary from circle to circle and the operators would have to pay only for those circles where they hold extra spectrum.

For finalising the one-time charge applicable beyond 6.2 MHz, the firms supported the route of auction instead of TRAI recommendations.

According to TRAI recommendations, all licencees would have to pay for spectrum at the current price at the time of renewal of licences, or else at price to be discovered through auction or any other market-driven mechanism.

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RBI relaxes cap on transactions through mobile phones

The RBI on Thursday removed the Rs50,000 transaction limit through mobile phones. However, it added that lenders may place per transaction limits based on their own risk perception with the approval of their boards

Mumbai: With a view to allowing customers to transfer bigger amounts and in line with growing popularity of the system, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday removed the Rs50,000 transaction limit through mobile phones, reports PTI.

“On a review it has been decided to remove this cap (of Rs50,000 per customer per day),” the RBI said in a notification.

The central bank, however, added that lenders may place per transaction limits based on their own risk perception with the approval of their boards.

It said banks are increasingly extending mobile banking facilities to their customers.

“Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS) developed and operated by National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) has also enabled real time transfer of funds through the medium of the mobile phone between accounts in different banks. The volume and value of mobile banking transactions is also showing an uptrend,” the RBI said.

The cap of Rs50,000 was fixed by the apex bank in 2009.

The RBI’s latest decision comes a few months after it doubled the transaction cap on small money transfers through conventional means to Rs10,000 with a view to facilitating fund transfers to people, particularly migrants, who do not have bank accounts.

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Federal bank hikes rates on FCNR deposits

Federal Bank has hiked the interest rates on NRE term deposits. The revised rates for one year...

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