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Broadband from space to become cheaper after India scraps operation fee for licence holders

Broadband-from-space to become cheaper after India scraps operation fee for licence holders

Broadband-from-space to become cheaper after India scraps operation fee for licence holders
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By CNBCTV18.com May 9, 2022 6:11:40 PM IST (Updated)

Under the NOCC levy regime, introduced in the year 2003, the DoT levied Rs 21 lakh per transponder per annum for 36 MHz of spectrum on a pro-rata basis. In addition to this, Rs 6,000 were charged per antenna trial used for the purpose of receiving and transmitting signals.

Satcom operates don't have to pay the network operation and control centre (NOCC) charges anymore for hiring transponder capacity. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has amended the unified license, and thus abolished the NOCC charges. Indians can look forward to lower broadband-from-space prices as a result of the move.

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Telecom service providers are charged NOOC in exchange for using space segments for satellite telephony, broadband, etc. Removal of the NOCC can lead to more competition and growth of the Indian satellite broadband market.
Under the NOCC levy regime, introduced in 2003, the DoT levied Rs 21 lakh per transponder per annum for 36 MHz of spectrum on a pro-rata basis. In addition to this Rs 6,000 were charged per antenna trial used for the purpose of receiving and transmitting signals.
In an order issued on May 6, DoT said: "There shall be no NOCC charges for use of space segment for all DoT licensees for commercial and captive VSAT services, GMPCS (satellite phone service), NLD (national long distance) and other telecom licensees having unified licence or standalone license. This order shall be effective from April 1, 2022".
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It added that, with effect from April 1, 2022, all holder's of  global mobile personal communications by satellite (GMPCS), commercial/captive VSAT and NLD permits involved in space-based operations will no longer be charged NOCC charges.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had, in August 2021, called for an abolition of NOCC.
DoT's move was welcomed by the satellite broadband operators. They perceive the decision to be beneficial for the growth of digital communication in the country.
AK Bhatt, Director General, Indian Space Association (ISpA), stated, "We believe that these progressive policy steps are in the right direction and showcase the government’s commitment in supporting the growth of digital communication by leveraging the potential and capability of satellite communication industry".
Launched in 2021, ISpA is an appex body created with aims of policy advocacy and engaging with the government and other stakeholders for the matters of Indian space domain.
Reliance Jio had, in February, announced a joint-venture with SES, Luxembourgish satellite-based content connectivity solutions provider. Jio, one of the biggest telecom companies in the country, plans to deliver satellite broadband services across India. Sunil Bharti Mittal's OneWeb and Elon Musk's Starlink are planning to launch satellite broadband services in India.
 
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