Additional charges to be levied on extra 2G spectrum (Lead)

September 23rd, 2008 - 6:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS) Communications Minister A. Raja Tuesday said telecom operators wanting to use 2G spectrum for mobile telephony services in the country beyond 6.2 MHz will have to pay additional charges.”The government will fix additional charges for those telecom operators who are willing to subscribe to 2G spectrum beyond 6.2 MHz,” Raja told reporters on the sidelines of a conference organised by India Post.

“These charges will have to be paid on a one time basis and according to the guidelines that will be in place by October end.”

Asked about the initial public offering (IPO) of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), Raja said the government was discussing the issue with trade unions.

“Though there is a lot of misunderstanding about the IPO, there are many employees in the trade union who have favoured it. We are trying to reach a consensus with them,” said the minister.

Raja said his ministry is also in discussions with the finance ministry on the issue of relaxing borrowing norms for aspiring third generation (3G) spectrum bidders.

The two telecom operators body of GSM and CDMA - Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI) have asked the finance ministry to easing external commercial borrowing norms to enable them access funds cost effectively.

The government Monday had relaxed external commercial borrowing rules for infrastructure firms and they will now be allowed to bring in $500 million under the approval route. Such borrowings of over $100 million have to be for at least for seven years.

On the Blackberry issue, Raja said: “While a solution is still being worked out, the services cannot be denied to the customers.”

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