Now Britain turns its focus to interconnection - TechCentral

Now Britain turns its focus to interconnection

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SA isn’t the only country where pressure is mounting on mobile operators to slash the rates they charge to carry calls from other operators on their networks.

In the UK, BT Group (formerly British Telecom) and mobile phone company 3 this week handed a 114 000-strong petition to the British telecommunications regulator Ofcom demanding that interconnection fees be slashed so that the cost of cellular calls can come down.

Mobile interconnection fees are set at 5p/minute (R0,65) during peak times, well below SA’s R1,25/minute. Yet pressure is growing for the rate to be reduced.

The campaign by BT and 3, known as “Terminate the Rate”, and supported by the Post Office, claims that interconnection fees are costing UK consumers “billions of pounds” a year. A campaign spokesman told The Independent newspaper that the rate should be reduced to 1p or less.

BT Retail MD John Petter told the newspaper that any reduction less than a penny would mean “continued unfairness and high prices for UK consumers and businesses”.

More than 250 British MPs have signed a motion supporting the campaign.  — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral

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