GSMA speaks out against proposed licence fee hikes

24 January 2014 | Sophie Donoghue


Mobile lobby group GSMA has argued that the proposal made by Britain’s telecom regulator Ofcom to increase spectrum licence fees is a threat to 4G roll-out in the UK.

Ofcom announced plans in October to increase charges for spectrum licences in the 900MHz band from £24.8 million to £138.5 million, and 1800MHz from £39.7 million to £170.4 million.

"The GSMA is concerned that Ofcom's proposal to more than quadruple annual licence fees... will jeopardise mobile operators' ability to upgrade their networks for 4G services in the UK," said Tom Phillips, GSMA's chief regulatory officer in a statement.

He added that any delay in 4G roll-out could put UK businesses at an international disadvantage.

Ofcom is yet to finalise its decision on the fees. It says it will consider all responses with an open mind before making a decision later this year.