We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

No refunds here, says government

Mobile phone companies unable to get off hook

E-Minister Patricia Hewitt yesterday quashed rumours that mobile phone operators may receive refunds from the government on cash shelled out for 3G licences.

In what some commentators have termed a set up by mobile firms, rumours have been circulating that the government would help BT, Orange, Vodafone, Hutchison and France Telecom cut their massive debts of between £22.5bn and £30bn.

"You cannot have an auction and then, long after you award [licences], say things have changed and change the terms of the licence," said Hewitt.

She went on to add any interference in the auction process by the government would "undermine the integrity of all future auctions".

It now looks as though telcos will have to carry the burden, which, according to many analysts and industry commentators, means the end user will ultimately pay more.

"We are of course disappointed," said a spokesperson at Vodafone, "and will now have to consider other ways of dealing with the debts."

"We have faith that 3G will be a success and we must stick to that," said a spokesperson at Hutchison.


IDG UK Sites

Windows 9 release date, price, features: Windows 9 will be a free update

IDG UK Sites

Windows 9 and the death of the OS as a must-have product

IDG UK Sites

Photoshop for Chromebook: a full version of Adobe's art & photography software will be streamed to...

IDG UK Sites

Best iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus deals: iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus tariffs, contracts and prices UK