News Burst: Fifteen year payback time for 3G licences

3G is years away and for the companies that have invested in licences, so are the profits
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

The price of winning a UK 3G licence could be 15 years of debt, according to a report released Thursday.

The report from Arthur Andersen Consulting and JP Morgan, the investment bank, found that companies who were successful in the auction of Britain's third-generation (3G) mobile spectrum, face a 15 year wait before they recoup the cost of establishing the network.

TIW, Vodafone, BT (quote: BT), Orange and One2One paid between £4bn and £5.96bn to own a share of the spectrum, which will allow mobile devices to communicate with the Internet at much faster speeds than at present, allowing advanced applications such as video conferencing. The report predicts that the European mobile data market will be worth $156bn (around £110bn) by 2010.

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