ALSO READReliance Jio has new offers: Unlimited 3-month data at Rs 399 and more Jio disruption: Feature phone to cost Rs 0 with Rs 1,500 refundable deposit IUC report: Reliance Jio alleges Rs 100,000 cr bonanza to incumbents Jio ends its Summer Surprise scheme after Trai order The free JIO 4G feature phone is out and here are its key highlights
Reliance Jio, which has revolutionised the telecom market in India with its free voice calls and cheap data tariffs, is among the companies that paid the least licence fee and spectrum charges to the government. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), Reliance Jio paid about Rs 8.26 crore as licence fee and Rs 14.83 crore as spectrum charges to the government in April-June 2017.
Bharti Airtel, on the other hand, paid Rs 1024.56 crore as licence fee and Rs 413.48 crore as spectrum charges during the quarter. It was followed by Vodafone, which paid Rs 677.72 crore as licence fee and Rs 320.06 crore as spectrum charges. Idea Cellular paid Rs 556.26 crore as licence fee and Rs 272.74 crore as spectrum charges.
Telecom operators pay 8 per cent of their adjusted gross revenue as licence fee and spectrum charges are in the range of 3-6 per cent for different operators depending on the type of air waves they have.
Reliance Jio started charging for data from April, yet its adjusted gross revenue remained negative because of interconnect charges, which it paid to other operators for termination of calls. The interconnect charges currently stand at 14 paise per call. The Economic Survey also analysed the impact of Reliance Jio on incumbent operators. It found Reliance Jio, which launched commercial services in September 2016, had forced incumbent firms to lower voice and data tariffs.
According to the Economic Survey, the price war and reduced revenue have trapped the sector into a highly leveraged one. The average revenue per user for the industry has come down by 32 per cent since September 2016. The outstanding debt of the industry is pegged at Rs 4.5 lakh crore, incurred mainly on account of payments for spectrum and other levies.