Indian government raises spectrum allocation fees

The Indian government has implemented a new one time charge for spectrum above 6.2-MHz, and has raised the annual fees payable by operators.

Spectrum usage charges up to 8MHz will be increased by 1% of operator's annual adjusted gross revenue (AGR), with charges increasing as spectrum allocation increases.

GSM operators will now pay 3% of their AGR for spectrum of up to 6.2MHz, with charges also increasing as more spectrum is allocated.

According to the Business Standard, the decision will not affect new players, as they must reach a certain subscriber base before their spectrum allocation is increased. Major players such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular are more likely to be affected.

The government was facing criticism over the low rate of its spectrum usage fees.