April 6, 2010
New Ofcom rules for mobile phone operators
The telecoms regulator Ofcom has proposed a set of new rules which should result in a reduction in the cost of calls to UK mobile phones by 2011.
Under the new rules proposed by Ofcom, the fee that mobile phone companies can charge to connect a call from another network operator will fall from its current level of 4.3p, to 0.5p by 2015.
The regulator has also announced new rules making it easier for mobile phone users to change phone providers. By 2011 a change should be possible in one working day, rather than two. Also, under the new rules, operators will have to provide customers with their PAC (Porting Authorisation Code) within two hours of it being requested. The PAC code is needed by customers to keep their current mobile phone number if they switch networks, and at present, some network operators can take several days to issue this code.
These changes will come as welcome news to many UK mobile phone users. For example, Ofcom research has revealed that 70 per cent of customers wish to keep their telephone number when they switch network providers.
However, these new rules are at consultation stage at present and the network operators are bound to have something to say regarding their implementation. Legal challenges and discussions are likely to take place before consumers see the benefit of these proposals.