Ofcom has published a final determination in a case that involved a dispute between several mobile network operators (MNOs) and BT. The MNO’s disputed a scheme introduced by BT that amended charges (and introduced a variable charge element) for calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers, in circumstances when those calls originate on a non-BT fixed or mobile network and terminate on BT‘s network (New Termination Charges). The New Termination Charges took effect in November 2009.
In its final determination Ofcom found that although potential benefits could arise, the magnitude of the benefit to consumers taking into account the impact on retail 0845/0870 call prices was uncertain and the New Termination Charges may cause a negative effect on the overall offering by MNOs to their customers. Ofcom also found that the scheme for the New Termination Charges would not be reasonably practicable to implement. Ofcom concluded that it was not fair and reasonable for BT to apply the New Termination Charges and that the parties should revert to the terms on which they were trading prior to the change.