UK Mobile Networks Face Sharp Rise in Annual Spectrum Fees
The UK's telecoms regulator, Ofom has published a consultation on raising the annual licence fees for 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum bands. The review follows a government request to the regulator that the fees should reflect full market value.
The Government required that, in setting these fees, Ofcom should have particular regard to the sums bid for licences in the 4G auction for 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum, which Ofcom completed earlier this year.
Mobile network operators currently pay a combined total of £24.8 million per year for 900MHz spectrum and £39.7 million for 1800MHz spectrum.
The review has proposed raising the fees to £138.5 million per year for 900MHz spectrum and £170.4 million for 1800MHz spectrum.
Subject to this consultation, new annual licence fees are likely to come into effect next year.
Current and proposed total annual licence fees for 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum
* EE and H3G figures relate to holdings after EE's divestment of 1800 MHz spectrum to H3G, to be completed in October 2015.