The Cabinet is likely to take up issue of compensating loss making state-run telecom firms, BSNL and MTNL, for surrendering CDMA spectrum that was auctioned in March this year as well as proposal of BSNL to hive off mobile towers assets into a separate company. Also Read - BSNL offering up to 4 months free broadband service: Here's how to avail the offerAlso Read - BSNL Rs 699 prepaid plan revised with more validity, unlimited calling, and more
“Proposal of BSNL to hive-off mobile towers asset into a separate company and compensation for CDMA spectrum to BSNL and MTNL are likely to be placed before Cabinet,” a source told PTI. BSNL’s mobile network covers an area of 72 percent of the country’s population, which will further increase after completion of the phase 7 expansion. The state-run telecom firm is estimated to have over one lakh base stations and it expects valuation of its mobile tower company to be to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore. It has so far leased out 5,471 towers to various private operators earning a revenue of Rs 432.6 crore till May. Also Read - BSNL Rs 1,498 prepaid plan launched: Data benefits, unlimited voice calls, validity and more
Both BSNL and MTNL expect some financial relief from the Cabinet if it approves their compensation proposal for surrendering CDMA spectrum that were auctioned in March this year. MTNL surrendered 5 Mhz of CDMA spectrum that was put for auction and BSNL in around 8-10 telecom service area. Both the PSUs sought market determined rate for the quantum of spectrum they surrendered.
The Government has fixed the base price of CDMA spectrum at around Rs 3,600 per Mhz for the auction and received bids worth Rs 17,158.79 crore for all CDMA spectrum that was sold. BSNL loss for financial year 2014-15 are under finalisation and as per unaudited statement of accounts total loss incurred is Rs 7,265 crores. MTNL posted a loss of Rs 2,893.39 crore for 2014-15.