The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Telecom licence migration adds Rs 2000 cr to coffers

New Delhi, Nov. 14: The basic telecom operators migrating to a unified licence regime have paid Rs 2,000 crore to the government with major players like the Tatas and small operators like Shyam Telelink and Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd (HFCL) paying up the migration fee and submitting applications today.

The migration will allow these operators to provide full mobile service who were till now offering limited mobility. The Tatas today paid Rs 545 crore to the government to seek migration to a unified licence regime. The company deposited the payment for migration of its existing basic service licence in Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The Tatas, who also offer basic and cellular mobile services in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, had applied on Thursday to department of telecommunications (DoT) for migration to unified licence for these two circles. Under the guidelines set by the government, it would not be required to pay any additional entry fee.

Under the guidelines for Unified Access Services licence (UASL), basic operators need not pay any licence fee in telecom circles where the cost of the basic licence fee was higher than that paid by the fourth cellular licensee.

In any case, cellular licensees do not have to pay any fee to migrate to a unified licence regime.

The UASL guidelines also stipulate that the basic operators wishing to offer only local services need to pay only the additional fee for wireless-in-local-loop mobility. It also directs basic operators to continue to offer limited mobility to the subscribers. Operators have to submit written requests for migration to UASL.

Reliance Infocomm has already paid Rs 1,542 crore for the conversion of its basic licences into a unified licence. The company executives said the necessary payment or migration requirements for West Bengal and Calcutta circles will also be completed by early next week.

The company has basic licence for West Bengal and Calcutta falls under that basic licence. It also has a separate cellular licence for West Bengal and for Calcutta that it bagged in the fourth cellular bid. Reliance has to now decide which licence should be presented to the government to migrate to UASL.

HFCL and Shyam Telelink have also made requests for migration to the unified regime.

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