BT promises mobile price cuts

BT has promised customers that it will pass on “penny for penny” cuts in call charges to mobile phones demanded by regulator...

BT has promised customers that it will pass on “penny for penny” cuts in call charges to mobile phones demanded by regulator Ofcom.

However companies have been warned that the reductions will not be uniform and that they should check their contracts.

Every time a call is made to a mobile network from a land line or from mobile phone on a different network, the operator of the receiving network is allowed to charge for receiving the call by the minute, otherwise known as the “termination charge”. This charge is passed on to the caller’s operator and included in the user’s bill.

Ofcom has ruled that existing termination charges are too high and has ordered that the mobile operators should reduce them by between 2p and 3p per minute, depending on the network used.  

A BT spokesman said: “We intend to pass on these reductions penny for penny to customers overall as part of a single 'savings pot', although there will still be different packages available that will include different charges for mobile calls.”

But Paul Fegan, leader of the Communications Management Association’s billing special interest group, warned that companies should take a closer look at their contracts and bills to check that the savings would be made.

“This is a very complicated business and too many companies don’t find enough time to check their telecoms bills,” he said. “The reductions being talked about are good, but at the customer end they will very much depend on the company profile and size and the call package chosen.

“Some will get higher or lower discounts than others after all the other different types of calls, services and rates are worked into the bill.”

Ofcom’s decision does not affect calls made on third-generation networks such as Hutchison’s 3 service.

Read more on IT legislation and regulation