Insights Ofcom sets annual licence fees for paired 2100 MHz spectrum

This spectrum was originally auctioned in 2000, with a fixed licence term of 20 years, to deliver 3G services. The licences, which are currently held by the four mobile network operators, include paired and unpaired spectrum.

In 2011, Ofcom varied the terms of these licences to make them indefinite and to require the payment of annual licence fees from 1 January 2022. Following consultation, Ofcom has set an annual licence fee of £0.561m per MHz for paired 2100 MHz spectrum.

This means that, based on their current paired 2100 MHz spectrum holdings (and based on April 2021 prices), mobile operators are required to pay the following annual licence fees:

  • EE: £22,440,000;
  • O2: £11,220,000;
  • Three: £16,549,500; and
  • Vodafone: £16,605,600.

These fees will increase by CPI each year.

Further to consultation responses, Ofcom plans to consult further in the first half of 2022 on the future use of the unpaired 2100 MHz spectrum band, and therefore it has not set a fee for it. To read Ofcom’s statement in full, click here.