Trai invites public views on spectrum charges for satellite phone services

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Telecom regulator Trai has invited public views on calculation of spectrum charges for satellite-based services utilizing programs put in in India below a particular licence class.

This follows the Department of Telecom (DoT) searching for Trai’s suggestion on BSNL’s request to alter the current methodology of levying spectrum charges on its satellite services as they’re too costly for subscribers.

BSNL has been requesting to change the present methodology of spectrum charging from formula based to Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) based for provision…this consultation paper has been prepared to discuss the issues involved,” Trai stated in a session paper floated Wednesday.

The satellite phone service of BSNL caters to authorities departments. The firm was given licence below ‘sui generis’ class to fulfill the requirement of safety forces on pressing foundation.

BSNL established the satellite gateway (or hub) in Ghaziabad and launched the Global Satellite Phone (GSP) Service in May 2017. The licence permits BSNL to offer all forms of cell satellite services.

According to the paper floated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), BSNL had 3,448 satellite phone subscribers by the tip of August 2018.

As per the knowledge offered by BSNL, common utilization of a satellite phone consumer is about 15 minutes of voice calls and seven SMSes in a month.

The state-run agency is required to pay spectrum associated charges as per the current norms which might be linked to variety of terminals and frequency of bandwidth utilized by them, on the charge of Rs 14,250 each year per terminal.

In addition, annual spectrum charges for the gateway are levied individually, which quantities to Rs 3.7 million each year.

BSNL has submitted that as a consequence of heavy spectrum charges, the service just isn’t inexpensive.

The firm has additionally knowledgeable the DoT that the consumer departments don’t instantly place the orders and there’s a hole of 3-6 months between BSNL procuring the handsets and the consumer getting the satphones.

BSNL pays this fee on behalf of the users in advance at the time of issue of Letter of Intent. BSNL has already paid about Rs. 11.4 crores towards the terminal based spectrum charges,” the paper stated, citing BSNL communication to the DoT.

Out of the 8,000 satphone terminals imported by BSNL as of August 31, 2018, just one,973 terminals had been truly being utilized by the subscribers.

Trai has sought written feedback on the session paper by October 31 and counter-comments by November 8 on the problems raised.

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