Ofcom has announced a reduction in mobile termination rates that’ll be effective from next month. Mobile termination rates (MTR) are the wholesale charges paid by mobile operators when connecting calls to their rivals. The last time it set MTRs was 2007, when it agreed a series of charges that dropped annually until 2011.
From 1st April, the MTRs charged by 3UK, O2, Everything Everywhere and Vodafone will be capped at 2.66p per minute. That’s significantly less than the 4.18p currently charged by O2, Everything Everywhere and Vodafone - and an even greater reduction on Three UK’s current rate of 4.88p.
Next year the cap will fall to 1.7p, the year after it’ll be 1.08p - and from April 2014 it’ll be 0.69p per minute.
Ofcom says these lower termination rates should reduce the cost to landline companies of passing calls to mobiles, resulting in lower charges, and will also promote competition in the mobile market. It also notes that MTRs are becoming a less significant element of network operator revenue because data now forms the majority of traffic over mobile networks.
Smaller mobile communications providers don’t need to follow these rates but need to set charges “on a fair and reasonable basis”.