Thursday January 23, 2014

Ofcom’s Proposed Increase in Annual Licence Fees for 900MHz and 1800MHz Spectrum Threatens UK 4G Roll-Out, Says GSMA

London: Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA, offered the following statement regarding Ofcom’s proposal to increase annual licence fees for the 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum bands in the UK:

“The GSMA is concerned that Ofcom’s proposal to more than quadruple annual licence fees – from £24.8 million to £138.5 million for the 900MHz band and from £39.7 million to £170.4 million for the 1800MHz – will jeopardise mobile operators’ ability to upgrade their networks for 4G services in the UK.”

“According to a recent report by the GSMA1, Europe is lagging significantly behind the U.S. in terms of deployment of next-generation wireless infrastructure. 4G represented 19 per cent of U.S. connections compared to less than two per cent in the EU at the end of 2013. However, improvement in 4G deployment can only be realised with long-term investment from the industry.

“Any lag in 4G roll-out could potentially put UK businesses at an international disadvantage and deny consumers access to the latest mobile services.”


Notes to Editors
1 Mobile Wireless Performance in the EU and U.S., GSMA and Navigant Economics, May 2013

About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries and territories, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators with 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.

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