BT will from Saturday make it cheaper to call mobile phones from its landlines, after Ofcom forced cellular operators to cut their mobile termination rates.
In March, the regulator said operators would have to cut their mobile termination rates (MTRs) by 80 percent, which they duly did at the start of April. At that point, BT said it would pass the savings on to its customers in late May — which it is now doing, despite claims by the operator O2 that BT would not do so.
The evening price of calling a mobile phone on a major network will from 28 May fall 24 percent, from 7p per minute to 5.3p. The daytime price will fall 13 percent from 13p per minute to 11.3p.
"Having campaigned for two years to get Ofcom to lower mobile termination rates, I am delighted to pass on the news that calls to mobile phones from a BT landline are to cost a great deal less," BT consumer chief John Petter said in a statement on Tuesday.
The MTR cuts will happen in stages, which is one reason BT's newly-announced call costs are not as great as the 80 percent cut figure would suggest they should be. Now set at 2.66p per minute — before April, they were between 4.18p-4.48p per minute — they will only reach the level of 0.69p per minute in 2014.
Petter also noted that there would soon be a new BT inclusive calling package that includes calls to mobile phones as well as to landlines. "Watch this space," he said.
BT rivals Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media have not yet announced a fall in their call costs from landlines to mobiles, despite the Ofcom-mandated MTR cuts.