Ofcom to cut mobile phone call charges
Communications regulator Ofcom has proposed to reduce charges for connecting calls to the cheapest they have ever been.
The cost of mobile phone calls between different operators is set to fall significantly for the first time in 19 years.
All phone operators will have to comply with the new charges, enforced by Ofcom, which are expected to cost less than 0.5p a minute from April 2017.
Termination charges are what operators charge each other to connect a call between mobiles to mobiles and landlines.
Since 1995, the cost of termination charges have gradually been reduced from around 25p down to 0.8p per minute, as a result of mobile technology becoming more efficient and advanced.
Ofcom said that the mobile market has changed dramatically since these charges were last reviewed, therefore prompting the new proposal.
The amount of spectrum now available to mobile communications has increased, especially since the 4G spectrum was auctioned by Ofcom in 2013.
Ofcom Competition Policy Director, Brian Potterhill said: “Consumers in the UK benefit from a thriving competitive market, and mobile calls have never been cheaper. The average cost of a call bundle has fallen from £40 to around £13 in real terms over the last ten years.
“We want to ensure mobile users continue to benefit from competition, which will deliver affordable services in the years ahead.”
Although these new charges may not mean cheaper phone contracts, there has been a fall in price over the last few years, so customers are now paying less than before.
According to Ofcom figures, the cost of mobile services in the UK fell from £39.6 billion in 2003 to £12.9 billion in 2012.
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