Ofcom decrees cheaper mobile calls

Calling a mobile in the UK is set to get cheaper from next year. Today telecoms regulator Ofcom announced it will pass a ruling to cut mobile termination rates, the cost a network charges to connect a call from a landline or another network.


If network operators pay less in termination rates, they can decrease the charge consumers pay to make mobile calls.


Kevin Russell, CEO of 3UK said: "Consumers will benefit from better deals and we'll cut our prices significantly over the next two years." Russell also said calls could fall by more than 25%, though the all-you-can-eat tariffs we heard about last year were not confirmed.


The ruling follows the 'Terminate the Rate' campaign spearheaded by 3 and BT. As mobile termination rates are charged by the network receiving the call, to the network making the call, BT and 3, as the UK's smallest major operator, pay a larger portion in mobile termination rates.


Meanwhile, larger operators that get more revenue from mobile termination rates are less pleased. Orange said it was a 'backward step for Britain' and that as a result, the drop in revenue might have to be offset by other means: "Handsets may no longer be subsidised, you may have to pay to receive calls and the rollout of Digital Britain and other network investment may be stalled considerably."


The rate cuts will roll out from later this year on a glide path, with consumers seeing the full benefits by 2015.

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