Mark Bridge writes:
The Terminate The Rate campaign has pretty much run its course. Its aim was to get Mobile Termination Rates reduced. These are the wholesale charges paid when a mobile or fixed-line network connects a call from one of its customers to a rival. Lower MTRs would mean better deals on call charges, the campaign argued.
With Ofcom’s recent announcement that MTRs were going to fall pretty dramatically over the next few years, the campaign is as good as done. I’ll admit to a bit of cynicism when the campaign launched, not least because the European Commission was arguing for the same thing.
The two campaign champions were BT and Three UK. “BT and 3 are working together on a petition that will lower your phone bill by reducing the level of Mobile Termination Rates”. Three, despite having benefited from high MTRs in the past, now wanted them cut. It promised better tariff deals - and, to its credit, it’s delivered.
BT, however, doesn’t appear to be acting so positively. Last year it talked about the benefits of reducing mobile termination rates, saying it would pass the benefit of reduced MTRs onto its customers… but this week, less than a fortnight before UK termination rates drop by over a third, it’s increasing its call charges.
Yes, increasing. The Guardian reports that BT’s UK call charges are going up by 9% at the end of April, with line rental also rising. Millions of consumers will be affected, says The Telegraph.
Hmmm. Perhaps my cynicism about the Terminate The Rate campaign wasn’t quite so misplaced after all. Well done, Three UK. BT, you’ve got some explaining to do.