UK Court of Appeals favours mobile operators against an Ofcom decision to triple UK mobile license fees in 2015

Ofcom decided to hike up the total paid by EE, Vodafone, O2 and 3 from £64.4 million to £199.6 million in September of 2015. This decision seems to have been demanded by the government of that time despite, industry insiders advise, assurances that price rises would be limited in return for 90% geographical coverage commitments.

The total The difference between the two amounts is £135.2 million, which over two years presents a theoretical maximum refund of around £270 million. However Ofcom will presumably insist some kind of increase was in order and furthermore we understand that the ruling still leaves open the option of taking this to the European Supreme Court, so the MNOs shouldn't start spending the cash yet.

"We're happy with the outcome as we've always supported the view that the trebling of spectrum fees was excessive and would harm network investment," said an EE spokesperson. "With this judgement we can continue to invest in those network improvements that really make a difference to consumers and businesses across the UK."