Mobile Networks Furious Over Huge Spectrum Price Hikes

By Gary Cutlack on at

Four of our mobile networks are in a sulk with communications regulator Ofcom, after it announced plans to raise the licensing fees paid to use existing mobile networks. It may mean more expensive calls for the likes of us.

Ofcom blames the government for forcing it to raise the fees charged to access the 900MHz and 1800MHz parts of the spectrum, frequencies used by the likes of Vodafone, O2, Three and EE to provide some 3G and 4G services. The possible price rises would, for example, see Vodafone's license fees rise from £15.6m to £83.1m per year to maintain its services.

Vodafone told the BBC: "We are disappointed that Ofcom is proposing a 430 per cent increase in the fees we pay for our existing spectrum at a time when we are investing more than ever in vital national digital infrastructure."

Ofcom, however, suggests that the competitiveness in the mobile field ought to ensure these costs are swallowed by the networks and not passed on to us. [Ofcom via BBC]