Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will have to pay a percentage of its adjusted gross revenue (AGR) towards the spectrum usage charges (SUC) to the government for providing satellite-based services. As per a PTI report, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked the state-run telco to pay 1% SUC for offering services based on satellite communications.
At present, the state-run telco offers satellite-based communication services to several shipping companies, government organisations, and more, all of which are authorised by the Home Ministry.
BSNL Pays Much Lesser SUC Compared to Private Operators
DoT is asking BSNL to pay only 1% SUC on AGR, which is much lesser than what the private operators, including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, and Vodafone Idea pays. The telecom department said that spectrum charges would be applicable from the point of inception of global satellite phone services (GSPS).
The private operators have to pay SUC based on a weighted average method which makes them pay around 3% to 5% of AGR. It is worth noting that satellite phones services in India are only provided by BSNL. The private operators are not allowed to provide such services out of security concerns.
The government will also include the revenues/proceeds in AGR that come from the sale of handsets. In case BSNL makes an excess payment, the excess amount will be adjusted against the other SUC dues that are payable by the telecom operator to the DoT.
BSNL is rooting for rolling out its 4G networks across the telecom circles in India. The state-run telecom operator has a hybrid 4G plan wherein it will take the help of both the Indian vendors and the foreign multinational companies to launch its PAN-India 4G networks. BSNL hopes to roll out 4G networks across India by the end of 2022, which is still quite far away.