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Phone firms told to halve 'other network' charges
Photo: DPA

Phone firms told to halve 'other network' charges

Published: 17 Nov 2012 13:13 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Nov 2012 13:13 GMT+01:00

German mobile phone bills should shrink significantly from the start of December, as the big four providers were told on Friday to halve the amount they charge customers for mobile calls between networks.

The Federal Network Agency which regulates communications facilities, said it was reducing the amount T-Mobile, Vodafone, E-Plus and Telefonica/O2 could charge for calls between them, from a top price of €3.39 per minute to a maximum of €1.85 per minute. In a year’s time this would be further reduced to €1.79 per minute, a spokesman said.

Jochen Homann, president of the agency, said the spread of smartphones and the accompanying rise in data transmission meant that voice transmission was accounting for a dwindling share of the total cost of mobile phone networks.

Telekom said the decision was difficult to comprehend, and that it would lose €500 million in turnover as a direct result, and this would be bad for future investments.

A Vodafone spokesman said the decision was completely the wrong signal, and would take money from the market which was needed for the expansion of digital infrastructure.

A four-week consultation period now starts, while the European Commission and EU regulatory bodies must also have time to comment.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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14:00 November 17, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
'Telekom said the decision was difficult to comprehend, and that it would lose €500 million in turnover as a direct result, and this would be bad for future investments.

A Vodafone spokesman said the decision was completely the wrong signal, and would take money from the market which was needed for the expansion of digital infrastructure. '

So how come cheap phone services such as Fonic only charge 9cents per minute for calls to any network? The new reduced charges these companies can still charge are still a rip off. They say they need the money for digital infrastructure expansion. This in translation means they want to charge for future services now and again when they have them up and running. Go and take a run and jump whoever that Vodafone spokesman is.
10:21 November 18, 2012 by Landmine
It's about time these greedy companies have their face slapped. They should have nothing but shame at having the government force them to cut the price of calls and show everyone their greed.

Way to go Government! Beat the greed out of everyone ripping off people for basic services.

From their perspective (the four companies) "growth" my a@#$! My service not anyone else I know has not changed in 5 years I have been here so I call BS on that.
11:29 November 18, 2012 by J-Dub
These greedy 4 companies are using this money not on infrastructure, advancement, and improvements....they are using it to make PROFIT. People aren't stupid...this is why the have turned to Fonic, Congstar, Blau.de, and the local grocery chains for calling plans on their mobiles. The big four are nothing but a bunch of rip-off artists! They have been using the same worthless excuse about the fees for years. But what puzzles me is the fact that the service never changes and they still think they should be entitled to the money they swindle out of their customers. Telekom says "It's difficult to comprehend".....what is really difficult to comprehend is how much money Telekom swindles out of its customers on a yearly basis with promises of better service that never happen. If you are a customer of the "big four", I feel sorry for you. There are many cheaper alternatives that provide better quality service for the price you are paying through these 4 money vacuums.
09:48 November 19, 2012 by rugbycoach
The ignorance of posts here is remarkable. The Virtual Operators mentioned all resell the Big Fours minutes or belong to them...so you are all still 'customers' of the big four duh...
10:57 November 19, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
duh rugbycoach. Have you taken a few hits too many to the head? If you read the article and our posts you should realise that the likes of Blau, Congster and Fonic all charge by far and below the charges of the big four even though they are using the big four networks. What part of overcharging by the big four do you not understand? DUH!
12:11 November 19, 2012 by michael4096
I love the way The Local posters are all for free enterprise, except when they are paying...

Flat rate tariffs including all calls in all networks are available in the 30 - 40 Euro / month range from the big guys

There isn't a lot of profit in mobile today. World-wide. Or, to be more precise, nobody is making a lot of profit. The reason Telefonica stated for floating O2 Germany was to help cover a hole in the bank account. However, there is a lot of inefficiency and the regulator is correct in correcting for excessive tariffs caused by having only a limited number of network operators. Now, if only the regulator would do his job when it comes to ensuring coverage of all households with DSL...
12:29 November 19, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
agreed michael and it would also go some way to improving life in Germany if GEMA and the new TV tax were tackled. These both amount to unfair situations in Germany.
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