Landline to mobile phone call charges are to drop by an impressive 85 per cent by April 2015, the Competition Appeals Tribunal has ruled. As of that date, the cost per minute will be set at 0.65p in comparison to the current rate of 4.18p, saving Britons an estimated £800m in phone bills.
Prices quoted are valid for wholesale, not retail. Measures were finally taken after years of heated talks between telecom industry players and regulators. The cuts will be made progressively over the next three years.
Phone industry watchdog, Ofcom, welcomed the decision and new costs that are lower than its original recommendation. A spokesperson said it will "reduce significantly termination rates which will bring competition and consumer benefits".
Vodafone, UK’s largest mobile operator didn’t take so kindly to the proposed measures. A statement issued by the network says: "The fixed-line operators have merely pocketed previous reductions in mobile termination rates, instead of reducing prices for customers. BT, meanwhile, has actually increased its line rental prices three times over the past year and a half." According to the company, poorer customers risk losing out as subsidies for pay-as-you-go handsets are dropped to compensate for lost revenue.
Fellow operators Everything Everywhere and O2 echo Vodafone’s concerns as they risk losing around £800m a year in revenue. Meanwhile, Three and BT have joint efforts and launched the Terminate the Rate campaign.
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