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Mobile bills expected to soar as Ofcom amps up charges

Ofcom has decided to amp up the prices it charges operators to use the airwaves in Britain. This could lead to higher bills for the end customer, and according to a report by The Telegraph, those bills might be blamed for a heart attack or two.

Some fees are said to be increased three times their current price. Ofcom will now allegedly draw £199.6m a year from charging Vodafone, O2, EE and Three to use mobile bandwidth. It's currently getting £64.4m.

"We have listened carefully to the arguments and evidence put forward by industry, and conducted a complex and comprehensive analysis to determine the new fees,” said Philip Marnick, Ofcom's group director of spectrum.

"The mobile industry has not previously had to pay market value for access to this spectrum, which is a valuable and finite resource, and the new fees reflect that value."

The fees vary for each operator depending on which tranche of bandwidth they use: the main networks are split across 900 MHz and 1800 MHz.

Under the new charges, Vodafone and O2 will see their fees more than triple from £15.6m a year to £49.6m, The Telegraph says. EE’s charges will rise from £24.9m to £75m, while Three’s bill will go from £8.3m to £25m.

The new fees will gradually be rolled in, and are expected to to be in place by end of October 2016.

A Vodafone spokesman said the company would be reviewing Ofcom's new fees and it was "too early to say" whether costs would be passed on to consumers.

"They represent a significant increase when we are already investing around £1bn on our network and services this year," he said.