• Germany's news in English
 

Phone firms told to halve 'other network' charges

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

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)

Your comments about this article

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.
Today's headlines
Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday
Photo: DPA

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday

Teachers all over the country are expected to stike starting Monday, German education trade union GEW said, after negotiations with the wage commission of the federal states (TdL) failed to achieve results. READ  

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes
Andre Shepherd at the European Court of Justice in June 2014. Photo: DPA

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes

American soldier Andre Shepherd, who applied for asylum in Germany as a conscientious objector against the war in Iraq after going AWOL from his unit, saw a judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) go against him on Thursday. READ  

Intersex person sues clinic for unncessary op
Photo: DPA

Intersex person sues clinic for unncessary op

Intersex person Michaela Raab is suing doctors in a Nuremberg court, who she said operated on her genitals and put her through female hormone therapy without having told her she was genetically a man. READ  

Greece bailout
Greece bailout passes with massive majority
Wolfgang Schäuble addressing the Bundestag on Friday. Photo: DPA

Greece bailout passes with massive majority

UPDATE:German MPs voted 542-32 in favour of extending Greece's bailout programme on Friday. READ  

German soars into ski jump top spot
Photo: DPA

German soars into ski jump top spot

Germany is a "Weltmeister" again, this time in ski-jumping. Severin Freund's 134-metre vertical jumps, and new world distance record of nearly 136 metres, ended the nearly decade-and-a-half wait for German ski jump fans starved for gold. READ  

Muslim Council says Jewish fears 'justified'
Muslims at prayer in Frankfurt's Abubakr Mosque. Photo: DPA

Muslim Council says Jewish fears 'justified'

After the president of the Central Council of Jews warned against anti-Semitism in Muslim areas of German cities, his Muslim opposite number agreed that 'these fears are justified”. READ  

Consumer rights office slams Facebook
Photo: DPA

Consumer rights office slams Facebook

The Federation of Consumer Protection Offices (vzbv) has warned Facebook over legal breaches in its terms and conditions, saying that its claim on the homepage that “Facebook is free and always will be” is misleading. READ  

Spoof hails Varoufakis: puts 'hell' in 'Hellenica'
Yanis Varoufakis, Greece's "Minister of Awesome". Photo: DPA

Spoof hails Varoufakis: puts 'hell' in 'Hellenica'

An offering that rehabilitates the much-maligned German sense of humour is rocking the internet with a searing spoof metal tribute to Greece's formidable new finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, filled with painful moments of self-mockery. READ  

This Week in History
Kafka's Metamorphosis: 100 years of perplexity
Franz Kafka. Photo: DPA

Kafka's Metamorphosis: 100 years of perplexity

100 years ago, Franz Kafka published The Metamorphosis, now seen as one of the most significant works of 20th century German literature. The Local speaks to the academic who has reinterpreted it for a modern audience. READ  

Nurse jailed for life for serial patient murders
Niels H. in court. The five murder counts against the former nurse may just be the start. Photo: DPA

Nurse jailed for life for serial patient murders

A male nurse who injected patients with overdoses of heart medication for the thrill of resuscitating them was on Thursday sentenced to life imprisonment on five counts of murder. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,454
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd