Mobile Charges to Fall Following New Ofcom Ruling

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has issued new rules which will lower mobile phone bills from 2011.

Ofcom has ruled that mobile calls to a UK number will have to drop from the current 4.3p a minute to only 0.5p by 2015.

The telecoms regulator has also issued new rules to make it possible to switch your mobile phone provider in just one day by 2011.

Ofcom has also made it compulsory for mobile phone companies to provide a Pac code to customers within a minimum of two hours. This code allows consumers to keep their own telephone number when switching providers.

However a spokeswoman for mobile network 3 says that the new regulations do not go far enough. "The UK is the only country in Europe where you have to ask permission from your current operator to leave and take your mobile number with you" she said. "[In other countries,] consumers benefit from near-instant porting and don't have to ask permission to move their number."

Ofcom predicts consumers calling mobiles could save a total of £800m over the four-year period and this would mean cheaper calls to mobiles for the more than 32 million households and firms with a landline.

BT welcomed the move by Ofcom but expressed concern that consumers would not see the real benefit of the lowered rates until well into 2015. "In this case, what is being proposed is just the elimination of excessive prices."

The telecoms regulator however, has been praised by many consumers who welcome the new laws which they hope will save them a great deal of money.

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