The country's largest private telecom operator Bharti airtel paid Rs 1,177.48 crore to the government in the April-June quarter toward licence fees and spectrum usage charges, more than any other service provider.
Bharti paid Rs 755.22 crore in licence fees and Rs 422.26 crore as spectrum charges for the quarter ended June 30 of the 2011-12 financial year, data compiled by telecom regulator Trai said.
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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 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 toward spectrum charges and licence fees during the quarter.
In addition, the two state-run firms BSNL and MTNL paid a total of Rs 612.23 crore 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), Idea Cellular (Rs 497.94 crore) and Reliance Communications (Rs 263.27 crore).