Mobile cost-cutting drive spell danger for operators

A cut too far...

A cut too far...

Moves to reduce the cost of making a call from one mobile phone to another controlled by a different operator spells good news for the user but could mean disaster to the mobile phone firms themselves. That's the warning from investment bank Societe Generale, which claims that the UK's four mobile operators will suffer if mobile-to-mobile calls charges are capped at 35p a minute. Oftel, the UK regulator, is looking into price controls following a vigorous statement of intent two months ago. It may also look at the cost of mobile to fixed-line calls. SocGen said the mobile operators could not afford to make such cuts at a time when they have seen share prices fall and debts rise as they seek to build 3G networks.