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O2 abolishes cross-border roaming charges

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O2 says its customers will no longer incur inadvertent roaming charges while taking calls near the border and has announced a new all-island tariff.

Inadvertent roaming occurs when a mobile phone user unknowingly connects to a base station in Northern Ireland while in the Republic of Ireland, and vice versa. From the beginning of April, O2 subscribers moving between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will not incur these charges.

O2 has also announced an all-island pre-pay tariff for Republic of Ireland subscribers roaming in Northern Ireland. Pre-paid customers will pay a new flat rate of €0.39 for calls and texts from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland.

Since 2003, O2 has had an all-island tariff for its post-paid customers and these customers pay the same rate as their domestic rate while travelling in the north. To benefit from the elimination of roaming charges and the new flat rate, customers have to select the O2 UK network while roaming in Northern Ireland.

Noel Dempsey, Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, welcomed the announcement by O2 and has called on other mobile phone operators to follow O2's lead.

O2, which has 1.6 million customers in the Republic of Ireland, has also abolished roaming charges across Great Britain and Ireland for its business customers.

O2 Ireland CEO Danuta Gray said: "The elimination of roaming charges across Great Britain and Ireland will help many of our business customers to improve their competitiveness and to be more successful."

The chief executive of Chambers Ireland, which represents 13,000 Irish businesses, has welcomed the announcement. John Dunne said because the UK is still the Republic's biggest market for both exports and imports, the abolition of roaming charges throughout the UK for business customers is to be welcomed as a means of increasing sales in this market.

Copyright © 2006, ENN

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