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Business News

Ofcom to clamp down on mobile costs


Mobile phone bills are set to fall again after telecoms regulator Ofcom announced new plans for a further clampdown on the fees charged by operators to connect calls.

So-called mobile termination rates have already seen sharp falls in the past three years, down 80 per cent from about 4p a minute to 0.8p. A decade ago, termination rates stood at 14p.

The latest Ofcom controls would see the rate ease again slightly less than half a penny per minute by April 2017 in real terms. The regulator’s competition policy director Brian Potterill 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 10 years.”

The move will affect the UK’s four major network operators: EE, a joint venture between Deutsche Telekom and Orange, Vodafone, Telefonica’s O2 and Hutchison’s Three. Ofcom will publish its final decisions by March 2015.