Based on their latest full-year financial reports, UK’s biggest wireless carriers are and have been enjoying significant financial success. At the end of 2014, EE reported operating revenues of almost $9 billion, O2 reported operating revenues of almost $8 billion, Vodafone UK reported revenues of over $9 billion and Three reported revenues of almost $3.1 billion.
But now, the major carriers are putting an end to a major injustice.
Over the last few years, wireless carriers in the UK have been installing “mobile masts” on farmers properties to help out with signal quality in less dense population areas. In order to install such objects, the carriers must pay the farmers a monthly fee. Now, the farmers are asking for increases in such monthly rent.
In what seems like a completely reasonable request by the farmers, UK carriers have responded by publicly crying about how if the farmers are allowed to increase monthly rates, “British mobile customers could be left without signal and face higher phone bills.” (Telegraph)
Why are the carriers freaking out? Because they have been renting out others properties for laughably little over the last few years. In some cases, carriers paid farmers under $300 a month. Nevermind that the equipment installed on the farmers land costs around $40,000.
As the farmers note, those in urban areas get thousands more per month for the same equipment being installed on their land. And why is it that some farmers actually incur costs associated with the mobile masts?
I have a compromise for the carriers. In exchange for carriers being given a cap for monthly payments to the farmers, wireless customers can be given such a cap for their monthly bills? I mean, considering that most of UK’s wireless carriers are consistently ranked as terrible, wouldn’t farmers still be giving carriers the better deal?
Maybe some will think that the farmers are being greedy. I fail to see why farmers should treat the carriers any better/worse than carriers treat customers. If the carriers want to put masks around the country, it seems clear that the carriers should be forced to pay whatever the landowner believes he can get the carrier to pay.