back to article 3 told to cut rates

3 is getting too long in the tooth to play in the kids' pool. The Competition Appeal Tribunal yesterday ruled that the mobe co, not being such a new player any more, is going to have to cut its termination rates to be more in line with other operators. Termination rates are paid to the called party's operator, and are capped …


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  1. Kenny Millar

    Still a rip off

    Still a rip-off compared the actual cost of providing the service.

  2. Steve


    So any arse with an automated dialler can not only interrupt my dinner but use up all my phone credit at the same time - nice!

  3. soaklord

    Pay to receive?

    If they pull that off, they will see handset sales and PAYG sales go down the tube. Having worked for a recently merged telco that sold phones, I can say that a LOT of punters liked not having to pay to receive calls on their PAYG phones and used those phones for all incoming calls. If they really want to see market saturation drop back below 100% then so be it, but I don't think it will make things better for the consumer at all. The U.S. mobile market has a ridiculous 1st minute incoming is free, and it's barely enough to try and get telemarketers off the phone.

  4. Lisa Parratt


    Does the "hangup" button not work then?

  5. Martin


    The termination rates are included in the price charged to the caller by their network, which are then paid to the recipient's network by the caller's network.

    e.g. 3 get 5.9p of the 25p T-Mobile charge Dave for calling Bob, instead of charging Bob

  6. Daniel B.

    The Great Leap Backwards?

    Oh yeah, pay to receive. Great idea ... NOT.

    We used to have the same system as the US over here, but COFETEL (kind of like the Mexican Ofcom) implemented the termination fee system, known as "caller-pays" since 1998. It was only local until 2006, when they switched it to nationwide. So, while we do still have the same area codes as the geographical city the phone's based in, we do have to dial 044 prefix for local mobiles, 045 for long-distance mobiles.

    There you have it. Now the only way you pay to receive is when you're outside your home city. Funny how a "developing country" seems to be more up to date on mobile rates than the US. Oh well, maybe its a telecom thing: we use E1/E3's instead of T1/T3's, so it might be natural we stick to the European standard for termination fees.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Its not talking about Pay-to-Receive!?!?!?

    This is nothing to do with customers paying to receive calls. The termination charge is what the mobile phone network charges the originating network to receive the call. I.e. If I make a call from a BT landline to a 3 mobile. I pay BT x pence per minute, 5.9p per minute of which is going to 3.

    Paris, because she seems clever compared to some!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I just had to write in to say I'm shocked by not one, but TWO burks who quite frankly should not be reading the Registers.

    Paris Hilton - Because even she knows you don't have to pay to receive incoming telephone calls on your mobile phone (providing you're not roaming - but again even Paris knows this)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Orange offer a local number option

    But only in certain cities.For example, as an Orange customer you can opt to have an 020 London number on your mobile that works just like a normal 07 mobile number. You don't even get an 07 number in its place. But it costs 10p/minute to receive calls.

    If termination charges were removed completely, then incoming/outgoing calls could all come out of inclusive minutes instead of being separately charged.

    Having a non 07-prefixed mobile number confuses the hell out of some web forms that expect them to start 07, though....

  10. Roger Lee

    Mexican Ofcom...

    It is just me, or does that seem a strange and surreal concept to anyone else?

    Just how can you be utterly useless more inefficiently?

  11. soaklord

    @AC @Lisa

    Umm... OK, could someone translate for me? I lived in London for a year, but apparently my GB-English got well bad since den innit. What does this mean, if not a lobby for pay to receive?

    "Perversely, 3 is simultaneously lobbying to have all termination rates removed entirely, paving the way for pay-to-receive telephony, telling anyone who'll listen that getting rid of termination rates will lead to lower prices for everyone and (quite possibly) peace in our time."

    Specifically... "paving the way for pay-to-receive telephony"

    More specifically "pay-to-receive telephony"


    You got me there. I have a hell of a time just hanging up on people and am always trying to gracefully disengage. I should be a bit more wary of my free minutes and just hang up.

    Mine's the one with "Read the last paragraph" on the back.

  12. mr.K

    @AC and Martin

    Fight the urge to comment without reading the entire article.

    Do it, you can.

    Not reading the whole article confuses you. Confusion leads to anger. Angers leads to hatred. Hatred leads to fotw.


    Never mind me, flames are funny. Carry on.

    (AC: Excessive use of exclamation points and question marks just won't cut it alone. Go all caps aswell.)

  13. Danny Thompson

    I'll do a deal with Three

    You get rid of your cursed Mumbai Call Centre and set one up in the UK and I'll happily pay to receive. Oh but wait. I don't use Three anymore, not since they burned me three times in their short past. I nearly went for their marvelous Mobile Data service, but then an associate who did had recourse to use their Call Centre and the rest of his story is utterly predictable to anyone who has been down that path before.

    Yes, it really is time for Three to be mandated to come out from under mummy OFCOM's skirt and play with the big boys.

    Mine's the one with "Put up or shut up" printed on the back.

  14. Andy Hards

    I'm with 3

    and have no complaints, although did receive a strange call today from someone saying they were from 3 and had I received my free gifts? Sounded a bit dodgy but think it was just an agent trying to get me to get a new contract with a special offer open to anyone but claiming it was only available to me cos I'm special. When he found out the tarif I'm actually on (very cheap) he just hung up. Didn't even say goodbye.

  15. EmperorFromage

    The end of termination fees ?

    Pure 4G IP networks (like WiMAX) can run VoIP on top of an all you can eat IP plan. ( Mayby some QoS qoutas will be thrown in ). Charging termination fees on such a setup is impractical, and (I hope) will force other operators to abandon them altogether. Competing with something that has zero marginal cost is rather awkward.

  16. Alex Johnson

    You would get double the included minutes

    PAYG is tricky, but receiving party pays is, in general, a much better system. This is used in the US and the advantages are several. First, it doesn't matter if you are calling a mobile or a landline, and that goes to area codes. Second, if each telco terminates all their own calls and nets off (as they do, on the basis that it comes out in the wash), then at a stroke that removes swathes of admin and the necessity for regulation. That reduces costs and increases efficiency. Lastly, on a mobile you would expect to get double the minutes. On PAYG minutes would cost half as much - compare US plans and you will see they hand out minutes like confetti, even more than here. If you engineer it such that you always receive calls yes you would lose, but the person calling you wouldn't be losing anymore. There is quite a lot of research that says that overall, the consumer pays less. Personally if I no longer got hosed when I called mobiles from my landline, or 08xx numbers from my mobile, I would love it.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Have you got your free gifts?

    "No I don't want any" - could cost me to receive. If it did, I could be called every 5 minutes on autodial - great moneyspinner for the networks methinks

  18. Rob Davis

    VOIP or WiMax to end this oligopoly and its dictatorial pricing schemes?

    If/when these really take off perhaps we won't be constrained by the few mobile operators forcing these pricing plans on us.

    And perhaps people could start their own operator companies using technology?

  19. alex dekker

    Why one or the other?

    What a lot of the wailing and gnashing of teeth seems to have missed out on here is that there's no reason why either system needs to be exclusive of the other. As one person has already pointed out, Orange offer a geo number, albeit only in a couple of area codes and not from one's bundled minutes. Let's have both systems, and let the market decide which is best.

  20. jubtastic1

    Pay to receive?


    What a corking idea, after all, it's worked so well with e-mail hasn't it?


    *wonders if the colour ref was too subtle.

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