UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has outlined plans to increase the amount it charges operators to use their existing 900MHz and 1.8GHz spectrum allocations, in a move that will quadruple its income from the frequencies.

Ofcom currently charges operators £64.5 million per year, which will increase to £308.9 million under the new regime.

The watchdog said that it was directed to review its charges by the UK Government, with “particular regard to the sums bid for licences in the 4G auction for 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum, which Ofcom competed earlier this year”.

While initially allocated for 2G services, the spectrum has in some cases been re-farmed to support 3G and 4G technology.

A consultation period runs until 19 December 2013, and Ofcom said that the new fees are “likely to come into effect next year”.

Proposed fees (taking into account EE’s planned sale of spectrum to 3 UK):