GSMA: Hike in UK License Fees Could Slow 4G Deployments
The United Kingdom's already stunted 4G deployments could be hindered by an increase license fees, according to a statement released Thursday by the GSM Association (GSMA).
Tom Phillips, chief regulatory officer for the GSMA, said Ofcom’s proposal to more than quadruple annual licence fees for the 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum bands in the UK could jeopardize mobile operators’ ability to upgrade their networks for 4G services.
“According to a recent report by the GSMA, Europe is lagging significantly behind the U.S. in terms of deployment of next-generation wireless infrastructure," Phillips wrote. "4G represented 19 percent of U.S. connections compared to less than two percent in the EU at the end of 2013."
Phillips contends that any lag in the deployment of 4G infrastructure could potentially put businesses in the UK "at an international disadvantage and deny consumers access to the latest mobile services."
Ofcom is proposing raising license 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.