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BT to make landline-to-mobile calls cheaper 'soon'

BT has promised to make it cheaper for its customers to call mobile phones from landlines as soon as possible, after new mobile termination rate caps came into force on Friday.The Ofcom-mandated caps, which ensure mobile operators cannot charge another carrier any more than 2.
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Written by David Meyer, Freelance reporter on

BT has promised to make it cheaper for its customers to call mobile phones from landlines as soon as possible, after new mobile termination rate caps came into force on Friday.

The Ofcom-mandated caps, which ensure mobile operators cannot charge another carrier any more than 2.66p per minute to have calls terminate on their networks, were set out by the regulator on 15 March. Before Friday, mobile termination rate (MTR) caps stood at 4.18p per minute for O2, Everything Everywhere and Vodafone and 4.48p per minute for 3.

MTRs will now decrease gradually until they reach 0.69p per minute in 2014, Ofcom has said. The caps are expected to make the biggest difference to calls made from landlines to mobile phones — such calls are currently not included in the landline subscriber's monthly bundle. ZDNet UK understands BT will make cheaper landline-to-mobile deals available around the end of May.

In a statement on Friday, BT said it "will be passing on the new rates to customers as soon as possible".

"Ofcom has made some worthwhile reductions in mobile termination rates, which will benefit customers in the near future," BT Retail consumer chief John Petter said in the statement. "Our focus is now on developing an all-inclusive package that will enable people to call mobiles from their landlines at no extra cost, with no fear of 'bill shock'. This will be incredibly good news for BT's customers."

BT did, however, note that "Ofcom has set rates at a level somewhat higher than those in its recommendation last April and the reduction glide path is more gradual than we had hoped for".

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