Govt plans to increase carrier licence fees by 150%

More than 10 million mobile phone users could be affected by the government's move to increase mobile phone carriers' licence fees by more than 150 per cent.

The cost of using the GSM mobile network will rise to about $17.9 million a year for Telstra and Optus, and $17.5 million for Vodafone, up from a current $7 million.

The hike aims to boost the Federal Government's budget by about $120 million over the next four years; a move needed following the $1.3 billion shortfall from spectrum auctions.

The increase was announced in the Government Gazette earlier this month and has left carriers stunned by the increase.

The fees for 900 MHz spectrum are set annually at the government's discretion and usually rise in line with inflation.

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