The country's largest private telecom operator Bharti airtel paid Rs 1,177.48 crore (Rs 11.77 billion) to the government in the April-June quarter towards licence fees and spectrum usage charges, more than any other service provider.
Bharti paid Rs 755.22 crore (Rs 7.55 billion) in licence fees and Rs 422.26 crore (Rs 4.22 billion) as spectrum charges for the quarter ended June 30 of the 2011-12 financial year, data compiled by telecom regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said.
Meanwhile, new players like Etisalat, Unitech Wireless, Loop, STel and Sistema Shyam Teleservices -- who got the spectrum (radio waves) in 2008 -- paid Rs 80.78 crore (Rs 807.8 million) in spectrum charges and licence fees to the government.
Bharti was followed by Vodafone Essar, which paid a combined amount of Rs 702.34 crore (Rs 7.02 billion) towards spectrum charges and licence fees during the quarter.
In addition, the two state-run firms Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited paid a
total of Rs 612.23 crore (Rs 6.12 billion) in spectrum charges and licence fees during the quarter.
Other private operators that paid spectrum charges and licence fees to the government include Tata Teleservices (Rs 308.38 crore or Rs 3.08 billion), Idea Cellular (Rs 497.94 crore or Rs 4.97 billion) and Reliance Communications (Rs 263.27 crore or Rs 2.63 billion).