On the 27 March, Ofcom, the watchdog for the telecommunication industry, announced new charge controls limiting the amount that mobile network operators (MNO) can charge other telephone companies for connecting calls on their mobile networks, applying in particular to anyone using a mobile device abroad and the subsequent roaming costs.
Ofcom says it expects to save end-users an average of around £400-500 million in wholesale charges over four years. For the next four years, mobile voice call termination charge controls will apply to providers of 3G services.
3 was the worst hit by the charges as it has to cut its charges by 45 per cent to 5.9 pence per minute. Vodafone, O2, Orange and T-Mobile received cuts to 5.1 pence per minute. A reduction of around 20 per cent for Orange and T-Mobile and 10 per cent for Vodafone and O2. The cuts took effect from 1 April.
Ofcom says: “Each of the five MNOs (3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone) continues to have significant market power in the market for termination of voice calls on its networks.”