Feeds

Ofcom pops cap on mobile termination charges

5.3p a shot till 2011

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Ofcom has slapped cap on mobile call termination fees, after deciding there is little chance of competition bringing the charges down naturally.

UK comms regulator Ofcom has been controlling the amount that operators can charge for terminating calls ever since the initial investigation by Ofcom’s predecessor, Oftel, won an appeal against such control in 2003. Operators charge for calls coming into their networks, and without capping they would be at liberty to charge as much as they wished. The end-customer tends to blame their own operator for the high cost of the call, as that’s all they see on their bill.

In June last year Ofcom extended their control for another year, capping Vodafone and O2 at 5.63 pence per minute, with T-Mobile and Orange being allowed to charge 6.31 pence due to the higher cost of their spectrum (1800MHz). The caps only applied to 2G services, and the operator 3 was exempted for that reason, as well as being too small to worry about.

The latest proposal from Ofcom is that all termination charges should be capped at 5.3 pence per minute by 2011, when the regulator will look again at the whole situation.

Responses to the proposal will be accepted until November 22, with the final regulation being published early in 2007.

During 2007 Offcom will also be looking at the whole question of SMS termination fees, which it hasn’t looked at before. The SMS business is was worth £2.1bn in 2005, according to Ofcom, which is a lot of messages at an average of 6.3 pence per message.

With the French regulator already imposing a cap on SMS termination, and Europe making noises about doing something, Ofcom needs to be looking at the issue.

While competition has driven down prices for customers, regulation is still very necessary to keep the hidden costs of communications from getting out of hand.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.