To enable “cheaper calls to mobiles for the 32.7 million U.K. homes and businesses with a landline,” British telecom market regulator Ofcom unveiled proposals yesterday to slash caps on mobile termination rates from US$0.65 per minute to $0.08 per minute by 2015. The announcement came as Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom completed the merger of their respective mobile units in the U.K. to create the nation’s largest wireless operator with 28 million customers and a 37% share of the British market. Ofcom’s proposal also corresponds with similar actions by the European Commission last year to reduce termination fees that wireless carriers impose on wireless competitors and landline phone operators that complete calls on their networks. The proposed cuts would be implemented in stages starting next year and are expected to result in an average 88% reduction in U.K. wireless termination rates by 2015. In addition to lowering expenses for consumers and smaller competitors of the nation’s top wireless carriers, Ofcom said its plan is intended to spur investment in other areas by large mobile operators while giving both wireline and wireless operators “more flexibility in designing competitive call packages, promoting competition for the benefit of consumers.” Countering that “a cut of this magnitude deters future investment,” an official of Vodafone argued that Ofcom’s proposal “is at odds with the government’s vision of a digital Britain” and “makes it less likely that the U.K. will continue to lead in mobile communications.”