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October 10, 2013

UK Networks Get a Shock from Ofcom

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UK Mobile network operators received a shock today, that they may have to pay more for the radio spectrum, under new proposals from Ofcom. This could be upto four times the amount they are paying at present. The regulator said the new licensing fees reflected market value based on other European countries. Operators told the BBC the increase was “excessive”. Vodafone said it was “disappointed”.

Some analysts have raised concerns the increased costs might be passed on to the public.

Adam Kirby, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com said:

“The size of these figures may come as bad news to the mobile networks, but more worryingly could sound alarm bells for consumers. The proposed new costs reflect a huge leap in the amount networks will have to pay the regulator for using the spectrum – our concern is that it will be consumers who are left to foot the bill. However, the good news for concerned consumers is that no increases have been confirmed as yet – Ofcom are now consulting on the fees. It remains to be seen how much these costs will actually rise, and if the networks can fight back and keep a lid on these increases.”

The new prices will see Vodafone and O2’s individual fees rise from £15.6m to £83.1m. EE will pay £107.1m, up from £24.9m, and Three will go from £8.3m to £35.7m. The increase comes at a time when operators are facing a drop in income via calls made while customers are overseas. The European Union is pressing hard for far lower roaming costs in a bid to reduce so-called “bill shock”.

Source: Ofcom Via: BBC

 

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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini