Briefs: U.K. to extend mobile termination limits

March 30, 2006

British regulators Thursday proposed extending controls on termination charges for wholesale wireless phone calls after their scheduled expiration in 2007.

Ofcom said the controls that have been in effect since 2004 remain the best means of protecting consumers from "excessive" cell-phone charges.

Mobile operators rake in about 2 million pounds ($2.4 million) annually in charges for call-termination, which refers to the connecting of a wireless call coming in from a landline or a competitor's wireless network.

Ofcom said customers still have no choice but to face a termination charge when they call someone who is on a different network.

Charge controls are in place on Britain's four second-generation wireless operators, and Ofcom would like to extend them to 3G operators. The current price controls are slated to expire in March 2007.

Ofcom will accept comment on the proposal until May 25, 2006.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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