Ask the Telecom Pro: Narrowband IoT | Taxes on Telecom

Timothy C. Colwell Timothy C. Colwell
SVP, Efficiency First® Adoption

Ask the Telecom Pro

Narrowband IoT | Taxes on Telecom

Q:  What is Narrowband IoT?

A:  Narrowband IoT, or NB-IoT, is low power wide area network technology that uses the LTE spectrum to connect IoT devices. The main application for NB-IoT technology is to connect devices that require small amounts of data over long periods of time. NB-IoT is optimized for low power consumption, which extends battery life to 10 years or more.

Q: Can a telecom tax be taxed?

A:  Taxes cannot be taxed, but many surcharges and fees can be taxed. Carriers frequently label surcharges and fees using the term ‘tax’, though. For example, carriers in the United States may have to pay a property tax to a state government. The carrier has the right to pass that tax amount on to customers in the form of a tax recovery fee. That recovery fee may be subject to taxation by federal, state or local governments. This makes it appear as if a tax is being taxed. Details of all surcharges and fees assessed on a carrier invoice are typically detailed in carrier service guides or master service agreements. If your carrier does not have the information readily available, then ask your carrier representative for clarification in writing.

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Timothy C. Colwell is a telecom management industry thought leader exploring the impact of technology as a business accelerator and social capital enabler.

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