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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ofcom wants the cost of calling UK mobile phones to fall

Ofcom has published proposals to reduce mobile termination rates (MTRs). These are the wholesale charges paid by telecoms companies when their customers call mobile phones on other networks.

The existing MTR rules expire at the end of March next year, so Ofcom has proposed new rules that would run from 1st April 2011 until 31st March 2015.

MTRs for calling Vodafone, O2, Orange and T-Mobile would fall from 4.3p per minute in 2010/11 to 0.5ppm by 2015. The wholesale cost of calling mobiles on the 3 network is currently slightly higher; this would also fall to 0.5ppm by 2015. Costs for calling other mobile networks would be "set on the basis of being fair and reasonable", with Ofcom anticipating this will be similar to the costs for calling the 'big four' networks.

These proposals could still be changed; Ofcom says it'll make a further statement about its plans later this year. Incidentally, MTRs have fallen from more than 23p per minute in 1995 to less than 5p today.

[Ofcom review document (pdf)]

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