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Govt fixes 1% SUC for BSNL’s satellite based services

The Department of Telecom has fixed 1 per cent spectrum usage charge for satellite-based services provided by state-run telecom firm BSNL.

The public sector telecom company at present provides satellite phone service to government organisations, shipping companies etc that are authorised by the home ministry.

The DoT in an office memorandum dated June 28 said that BSNL shall pay spectrum charges as a percentage of its adjusted gross revenue which will also cover the spectrum charges for handsets and for the gateway.

“The applicable charges shall be 1 per cent of the AGR of BSNL’s satellite based services under ‘sui-generis’ category. The spectrum charges shall be applicable from the date of inception of GSPS (global satellite phone services),” the memorandum said.

At present terrestrial mobile service providers like Bharti Airtel, Jio, Vodafone Idea pay SUC based on weighted average method which is in the range of 3-5 per cent.

Satellite phone services in India are highly regulated due to security reasons.

BSNL is the only company authorised by the government to provide satellite phone service in the country. The government will include proceeds from the sale of handsets in AGR.

“Excess payment, if any, made by BSNL with regard to this service will be adjusted against the other SUC dues payable by BSNL to DoT,” the memorandum said. PTI

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