News Burst: Costs of 3G mount

The cost of buying spectrum licences will be just the tip of the iceberg as costs mount for 3G

The networks to support third generation (3G) mobiles could cost between £3bn and £4bn says infrastructure provider Crown Castle, fuelling the debate on whether license holders will be able to deliver adequate services while coping with enormous debts.

Add to this a £450m a year to maintain the network and the high price already paid by operators for spectrum under the widely criticised auction system and 3G begins to look viable only for those with very deep pockets.

Experts have already cast doubt over how operators will afford to roll out services given the huge sums paid for spectrum in the mobile auctions.

Full story to follow

Carriers may have paid over the odds for 3G licences so far, but they are likely to pay even more in the US, and European users could foot the bill, says Peter Judge. Go to AnchorDesk UK for the news comment.

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