Annul S-band spectrum deal: Space Commission to CCS

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"In consulation with the Ministry of Law and Justice and the Additional Solicitor General, it was proposed to place thematter before the CCS for a decision," the letter byRadhakrishnan said.

The Draft Note for the CCS, which is likely to be placedat its next meeting, has been approved by the Prime Ministerwho is understood to have directed that the view of theministries concerned may be obtained.

According to the Draft Note, the agreement for the leaseof Space Segment Capacity on ISRO/Antrix S-Band Spacecraft byDevas Multimedia that was entered on January 28, 2005 needsto be annulled in view of priority needed to be given to thenation''s strategic requirements including societal ones.

The Agreement calls for payments by Devas to Antrix of anup-front capacity reservation fee of USD 40 million for twoSatellites and lease charges of USD 18 million per year duringthe operational life of the Satellites, which will be enhancedby 25 per cent, when Devas becomes cash flow positive.

"As of now Devas has paid to Antrix, a total amount of Rs58.38 crore in as the first instalment of the Upfrontcapacity reservation fee for PS-1 (during June 2006) and PS-2Satellites (during June 2007)," the draft note said.

The space segment capacity to be leased to Devas as perthe Antrix-Devas agreement would take away 80 Mhz of S-Bandspectrum available with ISRO, for the life of 12 years of eachsatellites.

"...Such a dispensation might not ensure a level-playingfield for the other service providers using terrestrialspectrum, especially considering the significant demand forthis S-Band spectrum and the current trends on the prices,"the note said.

As per the auction of 3G spectrum held last year, 5 Mhz ofspectrum cost over Rs 16,800 crore for pan-India licence. MOREPTI SKB GSN

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