Back in March we reported on new regulations from Ofcom, effectively lowering termination fees. The fees are charged between networks for connecting calls, but occur “behind the scenes” in that they don’t explicitly appear on your bill.
At the time it was suggested that the new regulations wouldn’t affect mobile users, but now two UK networks have increased their rates as a result.
Both Orange and Vodafone have raised various costs, citing the reduced termination fees as the reason.
A Vodafone spokesperson explains: "This price rise comes after recent regulatory changes. During our discussions with Ofcom over mobile termination rates, we stressed that if the rates came down rapidly and dramatically, the cost of pay as you go was likely to rise as a consequence."
From today, Orange’s minimum call charge on PAYG will rise from 20p to 25p. Vodafone, meanwhile, will raise some of its charges from July 14. On certain tariffs, the minimum call charge will leap from 15p to 25p, with text messages rising from 10p to 12p.
Vodafone is hoping to soften the blow with its Freebees range, while Orange customers can benefit from Extras.
Ofcom’s Elizabeth de Winton defended the regulations, and reckons consumers can still get sweet mobile deals by using price comparison sites.