Our Bureau

New Delhi, Sept. 19

THE Department of Telecom (DoT) has merged the Chennai cellular circle with Tamil Nadu for unified licence holders. The entry fee has been set at Rs 233 crore, which is the sum of the entry fee for Chennai and Tamil Nadu. The licence fee for the merged circle will be 10 per cent.

Cellular operators, who have licences to offer services in the Chennai and Tamil Nadu circles, will be transferred to the new regime without any additional cost. However, there will be a slight increase in the licence fee for operators in Tamil Nadu who are paying only 8 per cent of the annual revenue at present. Such operators will have to pay 9 per cent of their revenues as a licence fee until 2008. After that, all operators will have to pay 10 per cent of their revenues as a licence fee.

The move has been taken in public interest, said a DoT note to all operators. This will, however, have no impact on subscribers because the Government has already removed the tariff barriers between the two circles. Earlier, a call from Chennai to any other city in Tamil Nadu was treated as an STD call.

Operators, who have licences for only one of the circles and do not wish to migrate to the new unified regime, will continue to pay the existing fees and levies.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 20, 2005)
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