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Vodafone Seeks 1% Uniform Spectrum Usage Charges For 3G & BWA Spectrum

Our coverage of the 2G Auctions is brought to you by OnMobile Global, India’s leading Mobile Value Added Services [VAS] company Vodafone India has sent a letter to the Department of Telecom (DoT) and Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, seeking a level playing ground between 3G players and BWA players since it believes that there is now no distinction between services that will be offered on 3G and BWA network. It has also sought clarity on the implementation of EGoM's decision to reduce spectrum usage charges earlier this week. The telco has asked that going forward, the government should apply a standard spectrum usage charge (SUC) of 1% Annual Gross Revenue (AGR) for for both 2.1GHz/3G and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrums with a weighted average for existing spectrum allocations in 900 MHz and 1800MHz band. Vodafone also pointed out that TRAI had earlier recommended this step and says such a move will enable faster rollout and proliferation of mobile broadband. Note that empowered group of ministers (EGoM) had earlier retained 1% SUC for BWA players, although it mentioned that players will have to pay a 5% usage charge for the new spectrum acquired during the spectrum auction next week. Following this, Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) Director-General Rajan Mathews had raised concerns of an unlevel playing field, saying that 4G players should also pay the same usage charge as GSM operators, especially now that players like Reliance Jio has received pan-India unified license through which it can offer voice services to its consumers. Other Issues Raised by Vodafone:  Weighted Average for Existing Allocations? Vodafone has…

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