Ofcom announces cut to proposed mobile operator charges

Ofcom announces cut to proposed mobile operator charges

Telecommunications regulator Ofcom has announced a reduction in proposed charges to mobile network operators for spectrum licenses.

Ofcom released the revising annual licence fees for the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz spectrum bands used by mobile network operators.

In 2010, the government directed Ofcom on revising fees to reflect the full market value, after the completion of the 4G auction. The bands are used for 2G and 3G, including voice calls, and some 4G services.

The changes in charges decrease the overall proposed levels of fees, although some of the individual numbers that make up the fees have actually risen.

The telecommunications regulator said it is now proposing to charge operators Vodafone and Telefonica O2 £65.8m each per year in license fees for 900 megahertz and 1800 megahertz spectrum. This is a decrease of £17.3m from its previous proposal of £83.1 m.

Ofcom proposes to charge EE £86.4m,  down from £107.1m, and Three's owner, H3G, £28.8m, down from the previous proposed £35.7m.

Philip Marnick, group director of Ofcom's spectrum group, 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.'

He went on, '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.'


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