Communication industry regulator Ofcom has published a consultation about revising the licence fees paid by UK mobile networks for the 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum bands initially used for 2G and 3G services.
In December 2010, the Government told Ofcom to revise these fees in line with current market values. In particular, Ofcom was required to consider the amounts paid in the recent 4G auction for 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum.
As a result, Ofcom has calculated potential new licence payments. It notes that the ‘big four’ mobile network operators currently pay a total of £24.8 million per year for 900MHz spectrum and £39.7 million for 1800 MHz spectrum.
However, it believes they should be paying £138.5 million per year for the 900MHz frequencies and £170.4 million for 1800MHz.
This would result in Vodafone and O2 each paying an extra £67.5 million per year, EE paying an extra £82.2 million and Three paying an extra £27.4 million.
The consultation closes on 19th December 2013, with new annual licence fees expected to come into effect next year.