Ofcom considers increasing mobile spectrum fees

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Annual licence fees for the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands could quadruple under revisions proposed by the industry regulator

Ofcom has today published a consultation on increasing annual licence fees for the 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum bands to bring them into line with fees paid for 4G coverage.

EE, Vodafone, Three and O2 currently pay a combined total of £24.8m per year for 900MHz and £39.7m for 1800MHz spectrum – which are used for voice calls, 3G and some 4G services – but this could increase to £138.5m and £170.4m respectively under the proposals (see details below).

Ofcom said that the proposal follows a government directive in December 2010 which told the regulator to ensure fees reflected market value.

The directive required Ofcom to pay attention to the sums bid for licences in the 4G auction for 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz spectrum in February, which raised a combined £2.4 billion.

Subject to the consultation, which closes on December 19, the new annual fees could come into effect next year.

 

Current and proposed total annual licence fees for 900 MHz and 1800 MHz spectrum:

Vodafone

Current: £15.6m

Proposed: £83.1m

 

O2

Current: £15.6m

Proposed: £83.1m

 

EE

Current: £24.9m

Proposed: £107.1m

 

Three

Current: £8.3m

Proposed: £35.7m

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