The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Telecom licence fee under review

New Delhi, Oct. 7: The group of ministers (GoM) on telecom is examining a graded licence fee structure for unified telecom licences. A graded licence fee will allow an operator to offer one or more services and pay a fee for the services on offer and not for the entire gamut.

Sources said the government might agree to charge the fee payable by a fourth cellular licence holder in a circle from limited mobile phone operators to allow them to offer roaming facility which has now been equated with offering cellular services. This would imply that limited mobile operators like Tata Indicom and Reliance could continue with their services by merely paying a switchover fee.

The GoM scheduled to meet on Sunday will also deliberate on the spectrum fee to be paid by the operators based on demand and the number of subscribers added in a given period. Ministry sources said the GoM will take up the issue of penalising violators of limited mobility (who are offering limited mobility) and decide on the quantum of penalty.

Communications minister Arun Shourie had earlier said graduation to a universal licence regime would take time, since it involved compensation to one party and fixing the fee for unification of licences.

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