Indian GSM telecom operators on Wednesday requested the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and the Telecom Commission to implement a uniform SUC charge across spectrum bands for the industry. Currently, different SUC rates are applicable for spectrum assigned at different points of time.
Indian GSM telcos, through COAI, conveyed that the new norms are expected to bring uniformity and introduce a level-playing field.
“Uniform Spectrum Usage Charge will not only bring simplification, but also eliminate the possibility of arbitrage. Varied SUC rates can cause a lot of ambiguities while entering into transactions pertaining to mergers & acquisition deals, spectrum sharing and spectrum trading,” Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI, said in a statement.
Mattews added that disparate rates can lead to disputes and create a non-level playing field and arbitrage. Uniform SUC rate will ensure level playing field and remove the arbitrage.
The Indian government did similar exercise for license fee by brining various license fee rates to a uniform level of 8% of AGR. In addition, there is no rationale for different SUC rates, as a majority of the spectrum is being liberalized and utilized for same technologies, COAI said.
The current SUC regime has another downside to it, as it requires segregation of revenues for BWA spectrum, which is virtually impossible with the introduction of carrier aggregation.