The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has approved two key measures in the telecom sector to facilitate investments, consolidation in the sector, and enhancing ease of doing business. These include restructuring the deferred payment liabilities of spectrum auction of telecom service providers and revising the limit of the cap for spectrum holding for telecom service providers.
Restructuring of deferred payment liabilities of telecom service providers for spectrum. By giving one-time opportunity to opt for higher number of instalments (max. 16 instalments) apart from the currently permitted 10 instalments. The increased instalment is based upon the principle that the net present value (NPV) of the payment due is protected as per respective notice inviting application for auction of spectrum from 2012. The total amount received will be higher by `74,446.01 crore till 2034–2035.
Revision of limits of cap for spectrum holding. Based upon the recommendations of TRAI and Telecom Commission, the Cabinet has also approved the revision of limits of cap for spectrum holding:
- The overall spectrum cap is revised from the current limit of 25 percent to 35 percent;
- The current intra-band cap is removed. Instead, there is a cap of 50 percent on the combined spectrum holding in the sub-1 GHz bands (700 MHz, 800 MHz, and 900 MHz bands);
- There will be no cap for individual or combined spectrum holding in above 1 GHz band; and
- The revised spectrum caps limits may be revisited after the Final Acts of World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) 2019.
TRAI had recommended revision in the existing limits of cap for spectrum holding taking into consideration the technological advancement, efficient use of spectrum, and measures to facilitate consolidation.