27/03/2007

Ofcom announces new price controls on mobile operators

Ofcom has lowed the termination charges for mobile operators. O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone will now only be able to charge 5.1p per minute, while 3 will be able to charge 5.9p. It's the first time 3 have had termination charge controls.

BT has complained that the charges are still too high and the operators are subsidising their 3G licenses will termination revenue and that Ofcom has been pressurised by the operators. The EU has mandated that termination charges should be lowered and will look closely at Ofcom's business models to ensure that the pricing they set is realistic, if they feel Ofcom has favoured the operators the EU may force them to further lower termination charges.

This will take place from April 1st.

More importantly Ofcom are also going to hold a consultation into mobile number porting (MNP), currently mobile numbers can only be ported between the above "big 5" operators. There is a lot of industry interest in this as VoIP services come into play (mobile VoIP over wireless services) and also groups like the low power GSM (guard band) operators want porting, currently these types of players can not access the MNP systems.
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