April 08, (LBO) – Telecom operators who rolled out rural networks in the last three years will get a five billion rupee refund of levies collected from every incoming international call minute. Incumbent Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) will get the largest slice, boosting its 2nd quarter earnings by up to three billion rupees.
Other telecom operators who channeled calls through their international gateways will collect two billion rupees.
International Telecommunications Operators’ levy or ITL is charged at three rupees and 80 cents per incoming minute from external gateways.
Although there are many licensed gateways, only ones owned by telecom companies actually bring ITL revenue generating traffic.
Operators were unable to tap the fund because the telecom regulator had not decided on the basis for its distribution till last week.
Telecom operators are able to reclaim two thirds of the money they pay to the œinternational telecom operators levy to finance rural rollout.
The telecom regulator says cellular and CDMA operators can reclaim the cost of towers in all districts except for the main city in that district.
Fixed line operators can claim twenty-five