If you’re a phone contract subscriber in the UK, you’re in for some bad news. With Ofcom’s big announcement that they’re increasing the annual charges paid for by operators, there’s a high likelihood that your phone bill may increase very soon.
According to Ofcom, there are requiring operators like O2 and Vodafone to pay a whopping £199.6 million a year in charges for their 3G and 4G networks. The value is several times more than the usual charges sparking talks about operators passing the charges to its millions of subscribers.
One of the biggest operators in the UK, EE, has already preempted the public that there is going to be a price hike on their phone bills. They justify the price increase with the argument that with the Ofcom-imposed charges, they won’t be able to offer the best prices to their subscribers anymore. A price increase therefore is necessary.
While other providers have not confirmed a price increase yet, EE leading the pack will create a domino effect. Other providers neither confirmed nor denied any increase charges but many are already anticipating and fearing the possibility.
Vodafone and O2 subscribers, in particular, are not going to be happy. The annual charges used to be somewhere from £15.6 to £49.8 million a year. With the Ofcom announcement about the new charges, the amount more than tripled leaving the carriers with little to no choice.
Unfortunately, it’s not really the carriers that will be put at a disadvantage but the UK consumers. If you’re a phone contract holder, you will see it on your bills. And the increase is not exactly minimal either. There are no details as to how much carriers will hike up their charges on your phone bill but expect it to be quite significant.
For now, let’s hope that carriers are in the process of working with Ofcom to do something about this. One spokesman from EE has said that they were disappointed with this Ofcom announcement. Some providers have already indicated an increase while others like O2 is thinking through how to proceed while keeping the consumers’ best interest in mind.
The increase in fees, if pushed through, will vary from operator to operation. It will usually depend on several factors including the type of tranche bandwidth being used. New fees are expected to take effect by October 2016.