Mobile Phone users might see a shocking rise in their monthly bill after the telecoms regulator in the UK, Ofcom, raises fees for British operators. The latest rise in the fees means that mobile phone operators will now pay treble the previous amount in order to use the spectrum in the United kingdom.
The combined mobile bandwidth fees (paid by EE, Three, O2 and Vodafone) will now be invoiced at a staggering £199.6 million a year compared to the previous £64.4 million a year. In february, the telecom watchdog (Ofcom) said it would raise the charges to £228.3 million a year. The reason for a slight decrease in the fees could be the result of an extended consultation period.
Philip Marnick (Group director of Spectrum, Ofcom) said,"We have listened carefully to the arguments and evidence put forward by the industry and conducted a complex and comprehensive analysis to determine the new fees." He added,"The mobile industry has not previously had to pay market value for access to this spectrum, which is a valuable and finite resource, and the new fees reflect that value."
However, the fees vary from each operator depending on the bandwidth they use ranging from 900 MHZ to 1800 MHZ. This means that EE will now pay £75 million a year compared to the current 24.9 million while Three will pay £25 million a year compared to the current £8.3 million. Moreover, Vodafone and O2 will now pay more than treble of their current fees at £49.6 million a year compared to the current £15.6 million.
This could potentially urge operators to raise their usage prices to its customers in order to make up for the substantial hike in new fees. The operators are not happy at all with the new fees and are examining the decision. They also suggest that this would hamper the roll out of faster bandwidth services and could servery affect the investment and innovation processes. Although the operators haven't said that this would mean raising prices for their services, they haven't ruled it out either.