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Ofcom says mobile contracts should ditch inflation-related price rises

Ofcom says mobile contracts should ditch inflation-related price rises

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom wants to ban inflation-related rises in phone and broadband contracts. Instead, it says any potential mid-contract price rises should be set out in pounds and pence.
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Global smartphone market is set for recovery, says new forecast

A new forecast from research specialists Canalys shows the smartphone market is set to recover next year. Worldwide shipments declined by 12% last year but that decline is expected to slow to 5% this year.
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Vodafone and Three plan to merge their UK businesses

Vodafone and Three plan to merge their UK businesses

New Hutchison/Vodafone network would be biggest UK operator

Vodafone Group plc and CK Hutchison Group Telecom Holdings Limited have agreed to combine their UK telecommunication businesses, respectively Vodafone UK and Three UK. The merger will create a large new network operator to compete with Virgin Media O2 and EE.
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UK mobile payment service Paym to close in March 2023

UK mobile payment service Paym will close on 7th March 2023. The service, which allowed users to make and receive payments using their mobile phone numbers, was launched in 2014.
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Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Which? seeks payout for Samsung and Apple smartphone owners

Consumer protection organisation Which? has been given permission by the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal to represent Apple and Samsung smartphone buyers in a legal case against chip manufacturer Qualcomm.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Ofcom bans locked handsets from December 2021

New customer-friendly rules from UK telecoms regulator

Telecoms regulator Ofcom is to ban UK mobile network operators from selling handsets that are 'locked' to their own networks. This will take effect from December 2021.

It's part of a package of new rules to help customers understand their contracts before they sign up and makes it easier for them to move to other networks when their minimum contract term ends.

'Locking' new phones to a particular network is favoured by some companies as it helps them enforce the minimum term of the contract, which is often associated with a subsidised purchase price for the phone. Unlocking usually has a charge associated with it and can be a confusing process for customers.

O2, Sky, Three and Virgin are among the companies that already sell unlocked devices to their customers.

Selina Chadha, Connectivity Director for Ofcom, said "We know that lots of people can be put off from switching because their handset is locked. So we’re banning mobile companies from selling locked phones, which will save people time, money and effort – and help them unlock better deals."

The other new Ofcom rules will ensure customers are given a summary of their contract in writing before they sign up, including the contract length and prices - and customers who need accessible formats because of disabilities will be able to choose communications in a format that meets their needs. They're part of the regulator's implementation of the new European Electronic Communications Code. These rules on better contract information will come into effect from June 2022.
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