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BT cuts cost of calling mobiles

BT responds to Ofcom's ruling on mobile termination rates by reducing the cost of calling mobile phones from its landlines.

BT will cut the cost of calling mobile phones from a landline from this Saturday, 28 May. Its customers can now expect to pay 11.3p per minute during peak times (down from 13p) and 5.3p per minute (was 7p) in the evenings and at weekends.

This isn't just BT being kind to its customers (though that would be welcome) but is a direct response to Ofcom's ruling that mobile termination rates must be reduced.

We should think so too. After all, it was BT and 3 who lobbied for the charges to be lowered or scrapped. These two companies probably have the most to gain from reducing charges, while the other operators continue to challenge Ofcom's decision.

The cost of calling a mobile from a fixed line is still ludicrously high, but at least this is a step in the right direction. It's not the first price cut and, with termination rates expected to fall again by 2014, hopefully not the last.

Savvy BT customers who call selected mobile phone numbers on a regular basis may already be signed up to a calling plan that offers them cheaper per-minute rates, but for occasional users anything that pushes the price down is good.

Let's not give BT a halo just yet, though. The telco has been messing about with its service and riling customers. Line rental continues to increase and peak/off-peak times have shifted. We've also not seen any evidence of a rumoured 'all you can eat' calling plan to include mobile numbers.

Still, if you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves, and many a mickle makes a muckle. Now we'd like to see the mobile operators cutting their prices too. That would be particularly welcome for pay as you go users and those who exceed their monthly allowance of free minutes.