The cost of calling a mobile phone from other networks and landlines will become cheaper after the regulator ruled that companies had to cut their charges.
Mobile phone companies have been ordered to cut their so-called termination rates, the charges operators make to connect calls to other networks. All landline customers and some mobile phone customers should benefit from next month, when the charges will be cut nearly in half.
Phone companies have yet to calculate how they will alter their pricing, but analysts said that consumers should start to be offered significantly better "bundles" of calls on mobile phone contracts, and that British Telecom and other landline providers will start offering free calls to mobiles as part of their package of free calls.
Many BT consumers are currently shocked when they receive their monthly statement and discover calls to mobile telephones are far more expensive than to other landlines.
The main reason is because BT is charged a termination charge every time one of its customers calls a mobile phone. This equates to at least 4.18p for every minute of the call. Mobile phone companies charge this to their rivals, too.
Ofcom has said this charge will be cut to 2.66p next month and will fall to 0.69p by April 2014.
John Petter, managing director consumer of BT Retail, said: “Ofcom has made some worthwhile reductions in mobile termination rates, which will benefit customers in the near future. 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."