Ofcom has decided to cut the cost incurred by users for calling people on different networks. The communication regulator will impose the price cuts from 2011.
The new charge will be in effect until 2015 and will be a maximum of 2p a minute, half of the previous rate of 4p a minute. Ofcom puts consumer savings at least £1 billion a year for the next four years, although mobile phone customers won’t gain as any savings will be offset by price increases elsewhere.
However, consumer groups are hoping that the report will result in cheaper bills. There is always the possibility that mobile phone companies will offset their losses in other charges to mobile phone users. For example, O2 and Vodafone may compensate their losses by raising monthly subscription charges and end pre-pay deals, which presently benefit the less well off.
Among those set to benefit from the changes recommended in the report is BT, which gets charged heftily for connecting landlines with mobile phones. According to BT, ringing mobiles from landlines runs to £750 million.
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