Indian mobile phone users will have to pay more if the service providers are charged for spectrum, which was earlier freely available to the operators, Sunil Mittal, chairman of the country's largest telecom company, Bharti Airtel, said.
He said telcos had been offering services with lower tariffs when they had not been charged for spectrum. He added in future if spectrum is charged the telcos would also have to charge the customer.
Old operators had been contesting the proposed one-time charge for the extra spectrum they hold.
He was in Barcelona for the annual global telecommunications event -- Mobile World Congress -- which concluded yesterday.
Most of the mobile operators including Bharti Airtel, had already raised user charges by about 20 per cent following the rising cost of operation and cut-throat competition. Mittal added while the industry was for providing affordable services, its own interest too needed to be safeguarded.
He said he would favour affordable service which should be viable for industry and nobody would gain if their business was shut down. He added, this had to be balanced.