Feeds

UK gov't dismisses 3G mobile phone stealth tax charge

Give us £50m now, £500m by Easter and the licence is yours

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

E-minister Patricia Hewitt yesterday dismissed accusations that the government is imposing a stealth tax on the telecoms industry with its auction for third-generation mobile phones operator licences. A £50 million deposit is required to even enter the game. All interested parties will then take part in an 18-day auction with minimum increments of £100,000. The five lucky winners will be those still standing on 24 March 2000. Final bids are expected to reach £500 million for each licence, netting the Revenue £2.5 billion. The increase in the number of licences from four to five is also seen as a transparent way of increasing takings. Hewitt claimed the system is not a tax but a way of ensuring that the best companies win access to the limited radio spectrum. The licences will be awarded to whichever companies stump up the most cash. Hewitt said: "This method is fast and fair, and is much more transparent than the government attempting to pick winners and losers through some kind of beauty contest." Hans Snook, Orange CEO, is not so sure. Nor is corporate commerce director at Vodafone, Mike Caldwell. Both would prefer a different system, but that won't stop them battling it out. The government is on to a winner here. Despite their annoyance, the major telecoms firms admit they have little choice but to take part. Without access to the bandwidth needed for the next generation devices they may as well pack up and go home. And with a potential 70 per cent of the UK's population up for grabs there is certain to be a big scrap. Aside from the UK's big four mobile companies -- Vodafone, Orange, BT Cellnet and One2One -- the process is certain to draw interest from power-hungry giants such as MCI Worldcom, Bell Atlantic, Energis and BSkyB. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.