Ofcom wants cheaper calls for mobile phone users

Ofcom has recommended new plans to lower the cost of calling a mobile phone from a landline from 2011.

The new plans will see the price of a call drop from around 4.3p per minute today, to 0.5p per minute by 2015.

"The consultation proposes slashing mobile termination rates, which are the wholesale charges that operators make to connect calls to each others’ networks", says the regulator in a statement.

It believes doing so would lead to cheaper calls to mobiles for the 32.7 million UK homes and businesses with a landline. The proposals will also mean that both landline and mobile operators have more flexibility in designing competitive call packages, promoting competition for the benefit of consumers, said Ofcom.

According to Ofcom, the volume of calls between fixed lines and mobiles in the UK comes to around 20 billion minutes per year, generating termination charges of £860 million per year at the current rate.

Ofcom also notes that the volume of data traffic over mobile networks has increased by 200% over the last year.



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