Eversheds comments on higher spectrum licence fee for mobile operators

Ofcom has announced that mobile network operators may have to pay drastically larger annual licence fees to the UK for the right to use the 900MHz and 1,800MHz spectrum bands. James Walsh, partner and telecoms expert at Eversheds, said that while the figures seem high, they do not appear to be largely disproportionate to the fees that network operators agreed to pay for the recently auctioned spectrum.

He added: ‘It will be important that the fees set do not stifle investment in next-generation network infrastructure. However, equally a fair price needs to be made for the 900MHz and 1,800MHz spectrum [bands] in comparison with the recently auctioned 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum [bands] so that competition in the market is not distorted.’