Ofcom rings up £250m hike in mobile band fees
Friday 11 October 2013
Mobile operators expressed their disappointment after regulator Ofcom pushed through a five-fold increase in the fees for existing phone spectrum bands yesterday in a move that will net the Treasury a windfall of almost £250m a year.
Ofcom said it was raising the licence fees Vodafone, O2, EE and Three must pay for using the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands on the orders of the Government. They were originally "gifted" to the operators two decades ago in the early days of mobile, and Ofcom said the fees needed to rise to "reflect full market value", particularly in light of the auction of new 4G spectrums that raised £2.3bn earlier this year.
EE, owner of T-Mobile and Orange, faces the biggest increase as it will have to pay £107.1m, up from £24.9m. Vodafone and O2 will each have to pay £83.1m, up from £15.6m, and Three must pay £35.7m, up from £8.3m.
A price hike had been expected but the size of the increase surprised some of the mobile networks. Vodafone said operators were investing heavily in their networks "and the regulator doesn't seem to have taken that into account."
EE said: "There must be a balance between licence fees and the critical 4G network investment consumers and businesses are demanding to drive growth and jobs."
An industry insider said it was unlikely the cost would be passed on to customers, but it could mean slower mobile investment in rural areas.
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 5 Cancel Sky at your peril: man spends 96 minutes in chat but fails to get rid of service
Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor are reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
'Jihadi John': Isis executioner Mohammed Emwazi wanted to wage jihad in Somalia until his friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
Parma, Missouri: 80 per cent of town's police quit after first black mayor is elected
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
iJobs Money & Business
£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£21000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged b...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...