The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) declared an additional spectrum usage fee only applies to the specific frequencies shared by two operators and not to their entire spectrum holdings.

The regulator today (17 August) issued its final recommendations on calculating spectrum usage charges when airwaves are shared by two operators. Based on existing guidelines, the spectrum holders must pay a 0.5 per cent usage fee of adjusted gross revenue (AGR), which is applied to the spectrum holding in the specific band in which sharing is taking place.

To give operators the flexibility to manage their spectrum based on commercial needs, TRAI also suggested government guidelines require spectrum-sharing agreements to include an exit clause allowing either party to terminate an existing arrangement.

The recommendations come days after the country’s Supreme Court said Reliance Jio must pay Reliance Communications’ (Rcom) AGR fees since it has been using the now defunct operator’s spectrum since 2016. Rcom is undergoing bankruptcy proceedings.

Jio, which filed an affidavit with the court today, said it is not liable for Rcom’s AGR fees, arguing the spectrum-sharing deal is not connected with AGR liability, The Economic Times reported.