Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

Ofcom Revises Huge UK 3G and 4G Mobile Operator Licence Fee Hike

Friday, August 1st, 2014 (7:32 am) - Score 792
wireless mobile mast

The UK telecoms and media regulator has, following concerns from some of the major Mobile Network Operators, today launched another consultation on their controversial and Government-backed plans for a massive hike in annual licence fees for the 900MHz and 1800MHz radio spectrum bands. But the revised fees are still high.

The issue, which reared its head as part of Ofcom’s initial consultation during October 2013 (here), appeared to stem from the fact that the regulators auction of 4G (LTE) spectrum (800MHz and 2.6GHz) had not raised quite as much money for the treasury as perhaps hoped. But prior to all of this the Government had already directed Ofcom in 2010 to revise the fees “to reflect full market value, after the completion of the 4G auction“.

As a result mobile operators, which currently pay a combined total of £24.8m per year for the 900MHz band and £39.7m for 1800MHz, were initially told that this licence fee would now be increased several fold to £138.5m per year for 900MHz and £170.4m for 1800MHz.

Needless to say the operators were not happy and some have already slowed their 4G deployments until the matter is settled (we have a separate story on that after this one – here). Meanwhile others are said to be considering legal action over the move and in the meantime Ofcom has reviewed their decision and updated their analysis, which has today resulted in the following changes.

Revised Licence Fees Per Operator
Vodafone
Current: £15.6m
Proposed October 2013: £83.1m
Revised Proposal: £65.8m

O2 (Telefonica)
Current: £15.6m
Proposed October 2013: £83.1m
Revised Proposal: £65.8m

EE
Current: £24.9m
Proposed October 2013: £107.1m
Revised Proposal: £86.4m

Three UK
Current: £8.3m
Proposed October 2013: £35.7m
Revised Proposal: £28.8m

It’s noted that the figures for Three UK and EE relate to their respective holdings after EE’s planned divestment of some 1800MHz spectrum, which began last year and is due to be completed in October 2015. The revised proposals also use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as the inflation index to calculate annual licence fees, whereas the figures proposed in October 2013 used the Retail Price Index (RPI).

Philip Marnick, Ofcom’s Group Director of Spectrum, said:

We expected substantial responses to our initial proposals, which are based on complex analysis. We’ve listened carefully to the arguments and evidence put forward during the consultation, which has helped refine our proposals.

We’re conducting a further consultation to ensure we reach an appropriate view about the best approach to setting the annual licence fees. We expect to publish our final decision on mobile licence fees around the turn of the year.”

The fees are a clear improvement but some mobile operators suggest that they’re still unhappy, and indeed it’s easy to see why from the level of increase proposed. Never the less Ofcom still anticipates that, subject to the outcome of this consultation that closes on 26th September 2014, the new fees should come into effect sometime during 2015. But we wouldn’t be surprised to see more delays.

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Avatar Bob

    No part of the economy is safe.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £19.95 (*22.00)
    Avg. Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: HYPER20
  • NOW TV £22.00 (*40.00)
    Avg. Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • SSE £22.00
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • xln telecom £22.74 (*47.94)
    Avg. Speed 66Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £22.95
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. BT (2693)
  2. FTTP (2536)
  3. FTTC (1740)
  4. Building Digital UK (1682)
  5. Politics (1576)
  6. Openreach (1539)
  7. Business (1358)
  8. FTTH (1280)
  9. Statistics (1189)
  10. Mobile Broadband (1159)
  11. Fibre Optic (1034)
  12. 4G (1000)
  13. Ofcom Regulation (986)
  14. Wireless Internet (985)
  15. Virgin Media (962)
  16. EE (668)
  17. Sky Broadband (649)
  18. TalkTalk (633)
  19. Vodafone (625)
  20. 5G (462)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact