Mobile phone charges to rise

Mobile phone bills are set to rise after the Federal Government revealed it is to raise by 150 per cent the licence fees it charges carriers for access to the GSM digital mobile spectrum.

Telstra, Optus and Vodafone will each see its licence fee raised from $7m to $17m, a slug that will likely be passed on to service providers and customers in the form of higher call rates or other charges.

However, communications minister Richard Alston says the licence fee remains just a fraction of the carriers' mobile phone revenue and that the increase amounts to around 1 cent per customer per day.

The licence fee won't change for the new CDMA mobile spectrum, mostly used in rural and regional Australia.