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Telecom license fee surges 8.23% YoY, hits Rs 5,326 crore

The government’s licence fee collection from telecom service providers increased 8.23% year-on-year (YoY) to ₹5,326 crore, while spectrum usage charge mop up declined about 40% to ₹836 crore in the September 2023 quarter, according to the latest Trai report.

According to the performance indicator report released by regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), operators’ gross revenue (GR) declined by 1.22% to ₹82,741 crore, but adjusted gross revenue (AGR) increased by 7.43% (YoY) to ₹66,583 crore during the reported quarter.

“On a YoY basis, GR decreased by 1.22%, ApGR (applicable gross revenue) increased by 6.74%, and AGR increased by 7.43% in the quarter ended September 2023,” the report released on Friday said.

Reliance Jio recorded the highest AGR of ₹24,217.13 crore with a 9.12% YoY rise.

Bharti Airtel posted the highest AGR growth rate of 10.88% at ₹19,840.84 crore during the quarter.

The AGR of debt-ridden Vodafone Idea remained almost flat at ₹7,507.65 crore during the reported quarter.

State-owned BSNL’s AGR grew 1.93% to ₹1,966.44 crore, while MTNL’s AGR declined 16.35% on a YoY basis to ₹168.69 crore.

The government calculates its share of the revenue from the telecom sector in the form of licence fees and spectrum usage charges (SUC).

Access service providers or mobile operators like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea accounted for 81.67% of the total AGR.

“The License Fee (LF) increased from ₹5,246 crore for the QE (quarter ended) June 2023 to ₹5,326 crore for the QE September 2023. The quarterly and the Y-O-Y rates of growth in license fees are 1.53 and 8.23%, respectively, in this quarter,” the report said.

Mobile operators paid ₹4,350.67 crore as license fees and ₹831.49 as SUC.

As part of telecom reforms, the government has removed SUC on all spectrum procured through auctions conducted after September 15, 2021.
The total SUC declined to ₹836 crore in the September 2023 quarter from ₹1,403 crore a year ago. PTI

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