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Cheaper calls for UK consumers

PRS mainOfcom has today published proposals which will make it cheaper for you to call mobile phones from your landline.

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

Under Ofcom’s plans, these wholesale rates would fall from around 4.3p per minute today, to 0.5p per minute by 2015.

This would lead to cheaper calls to mobiles for the 32.7 million UK homes and businesses with a landline.

Competitive call packages

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.

The UK mobile market has changed significantly since Ofcom last set termination rates in 2007.

Today there are many smaller communications providers including mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), VOIP (voice over IP providers) as well as the four mobile operators with national mobile networks (3UK, O2, Vodafone and the merged Orange/T-Mobile).

This means that there is more choice for consumers in the mobile market than ever before.

Data traffic

The way that consumers use mobile devices has also changed.

Today’s consumers are as likely to send text messages or emails as make phone calls and mobiles are increasingly used to connect to the internet.

According to Ofcom figures, the volume of data traffic over mobile networks has increased by 200% over the last year.

To take account of the changing mobile market, Ofcom proposes to change the way that mobile termination rates are regulated for the 2011 – 2015 period.

You can learn more by reading the consultation into wholesale termination rates

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