The UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced that mobile termination rates (MTRs) for all of the country’s mobile network operators will be reduced from 1 April 2011. According to the watchdog it aims to see an 80% reduction in interconnection charges over the next four years, claiming that the cuts will benefit consumers and promote competition. Following a consultation on the matter Ofcom has also revealed that it is changing how MTRs are set, announcing that for all of the country’s network operators – Everything Everywhere (the joint venture between Orange UK and T-Mobile UK), O2 UK, Vodafone UK and Hutchison 3G UK – the regulator will only take into account ‘costs that are incurred directly from terminating calls from other networks.’ For some 28 other mobile communications providers, including smaller and newer operators, rates will be set ‘on a fair and reasonable basis.’
Under the new caps, from 1 April 2011 the MTR for Everything Everywhere, O2 UK and Vodafone UK will fall to GBP0.0266 (USD0.042) per minute, down from the GBP0.0418 cap which currently applies. This will fall further, to GBP0.0170 at 1 April 2012, before dropping to GBP0.0108 and GBP0.0069 at 1 April 2013 and 1 April 2014 respectively. For Hutchison 3G UK meanwhile the same rates will apply going forward, although it will see a slightly bigger cut next month, as its current MTR cap is set at GBP0.0448.