Statement: Proposed annual licence fees for 10 GHz, 28 GHz and 32 GHz spectrum
- Start: 19 July 2022
- Status: Statement published
- End: 12 January 2023
Following our consultation on proposals to set annual licence fees for 10 GHz, 28 GHz and 32 GHz spectrum (and to make new regulations to give effect to these), we have decided the following:
- to set a national annual licence fee of £5,676 per 2 x 1 MHz for 10 GHz spectrum;
- to set a national annual licence fee of £3,432 per 2 x 1 MHz for 32 GHz spectrum;
- to set regional and location-specific annual licence fees for 28 GHz spectrum based on a national rate of £3,432 per 2 x 1 MHz of spectrum;
These fees are 25% lower than those on which we consulted at the national level. This decision was made in light of stakeholder comments, updated evidence, the degree of uncertainty around future demand for this spectrum, and our view that there are greater risks of Ofcom setting fees that are too high than too low. We have also decided that:
- the proposed annual licence fees should apply from 17 April 2023, with an option to pay across ten equal monthly instalments;
- to align (with effect from 5 January 2024) the regional annual licence fees for 28 GHz licences awarded in 2000, with the regional annual licence fees we have decided to set for 28 GHz licences awarded in 2008; and
- to make new regulations (the “Regulations”) that will amend the Wireless Telegraphy (Licence Charges) Regulations 2020 (the “2020 Regulations”) to implement the above policy decisions.
In response to our Consultation, one stakeholder identified that there were duplicate entries in the input data that we used to calculate the proposed fees. The error led to an overstatement of the number of fixed links in Ofcom-assigned bands. We are therefore publishing this Update (PDF, 197.9 KB) to:
- restate the number of fixed link licences in Ofcom-assigned bands (which were used as inputs to our Model), with duplicate entries removed and confidential links included; and
- restate the proposed regional 28 GHz licence fees from our Consultation, using the national fees proposed in our Consultation together with the restated fixed link licence numbers referred to in the Update
We are still considering responses to our Consultation and we have not reached a final decision on the level of either national or regional fees. Our decision on the level of fees applicable to 10, 28 and 32 GHz spectrum will take into account the revised and updated numbers in this document, along with responses to the Consultation and this further update.
One stakeholder asked some follow-up questions in relation to our consultation. We summarise and respond to these questions below.
Has Ofcom estimated the lump-sum value of spectrum implied by its proposed ALFs, in order to draw comparisons with relevant spectrum trades?
We have not calculated lump-sum values for the proposed ALFs. We have requested information from licencees in relation to any recent proposed spectrum trades in these bands, and when we receive this information we will consider whether and how it may inform our decision.
Please could you clarify the data sources.
Ofcom’s Spectrum Information Portal allows viewers to download a current Wireless Telegraphy Register data file in CSV format. The 16 May 2022 version of the WTR data file is not archived on the portal, but was reproduced in our consultation model (XLSX, 61.3 MB).
Please could you confirm the count methodology for the dataset used in the 2015 consultation – i.e. whether this was for two links/transmitters per licence, in relation to a table in that data set which shows a figure of 5,675 fixed link transmitters.
The 2015 consultation set prices on the basis of paired links and expressed those prices on a 2 x 1 MHz basis, consistent with our current approach. In describing these figures, the 2015 consultation update (PDF, 53.5 KB) notes: “In calculating the proportion of links in a Region we counted the location of each transmitter and as such the number of transmitters indicated in the Tables below is approximately double the number of fixed links.” In that update, the transmitter count was used to estimate the proportion of links in each region, and these proportions would be the same whether expressed as a proportion of links or of transmitters.
Consultation: Proposed annual licence fees for 10 GHz, 28 GHz and 32 GHz spectrum