Mobile phone charges to be cut, say Ofcom

Caroline Cassidy

The cost of living may be going up, but at least our mobile phone bill looks set to get cheaper.

Mobile phone charges - woman looking at mobile phone
Mobile phone charges - woman looking at mobile phone

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Ofcom has ruled that mobile phone operators are charging too much for other firms to connect calls to their networks.

The telecoms regulator is cutting the fees that can be charged, and says it expects to see the savings passed on to customers.

Ofcom will cap the 'termination rates' charged by the country's big four mobile network operators (Everything Everywhere - formerly T-Mobile and Orange, O2, 3UK and Vodafone) from 1 April. This will make it cheaper to call other mobile networks, as well as landlines.

At the moment, mobile operators charge at least 4.1p to deliver a call to another network - which will be going down to 2.66p on April 1 and down to 0.69p over the next four years - a reduction of 80 per cent.

The move has been welcomed by consumers. Jonathan Leggett, mobile analyst at comparison website, said: "This decision will be welcomed by consumers who've been over-paying for calls to mobile phones since the late '90s mobile boom.

'The current charge of as much as 4.48p to connect a mobile call in no way reflects the real cost to networks.

"Ofcom is seen by many people as a toothless body, but this at least goes some way to changing that perception. However, in line with EU recommendations we'd have liked to see charges cut further and faster."

What do you think? Will the mobile phone companies introduce charges elsewhere to make up for the loss in income? Leave a comment below...