Ofcom looking to cut spectrum licence fees for mobile operators

Ofcom looking to cut spectrum licence fees for mobile operators

​Ofcom has announced that it is looking to reduce the spectrum licence fees charged to mobile phone networks for delivering services.

The move could see companies pay as much as ten per cent less to the government than had been previously been planned.

The regulator said it was set to launch another consultation into how best to alter the charges for companies using 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrums.

The move will affect Vodafone and O2, with both companies holding licences for both 900MHz and 1800MHz, while EE only holds a licence for the latter.

EE said it was disappointed by Ofcom's decision, stating: "While we fully support the government’s work to get more coverage to more parts of UK, we're disappointed to see that Ofcom’s current proposal fails to recognise the obvious costs associated with doing this, and note this could risk future network investment if not properly addressed. We'll examine the consultation more closely and respond in due course."

Ofcom has reportedly been pushing the launch of a consultation since a 4G auction in February 2013.

August saw it announce the fees networks would pay was set to substantially increase, although they have since been reduced to £223 million.

In a statement, Ofcom said the price drop was deemed appropriate when converting a lump sum value – the type paid by licensees when they acquire a licence in an auction – into an equivalent annual payment,

The regulator added that it was also a “reduction in the assessment of the market value of the 1800 MHz band (expressed as a lump-sum value).”

The rise of 4G has already helped a number of businesses across the UK embrace mobile working, a trend that has also seen it gain popularity abroad too.

Indeed, recent figures have suggested that mobile broadband will reach as many as 2.4 billion people worldwide by the end of 2015.