BT cuts costs on wireline to wireless calls, but competitors say it's too little, too late

BT Retail (NYSE: BT) thinks it can one-up its competitors with lower cost calling between wireline and wireless calls.

Fueled by a decision made by the U.K.'s telecom regulator Ofcom to reduce mobile termination rates, the incumbent has reduced the cost of U.K. wireline to wireless phone calls, cutting the cost of evening calls from wireline phones to mobile phones 24 percent from GBP0.07 (US$0.11) per minute to GBP 0.053 (US$.086).

Likewise, daytime calls have been reduced by 13 percent from GBP0.13 (US$.21) per minute to GBP0.113 (US$.18).

Of course, BT wasted no time in using the announcement as a weapon to attack competitors BSkyB, TalkTalk and Virgin Media for failing to provide lower-priced wireline to wireless calling heralded by the BT-led Terminate the Rate (TTR) campaign to consumers.

John Petter, the managing director of the consumer division at BT said, "We are naming and shaming Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media who will be charging so much more than BT for calling mobiles."

In particular, BT lashed out at cable competitor Virgin, which currently charges GBP0.32 (US$.51) per minute for daytime calls to other mobile operators.

Competitors aren't standing pat, however. TalkTalk, for one, believes that BT's move is nothing more than the incumbent giving into regulatory pressure to lower its rates.

"The reason for BT's underwhelming change to its prices is because Ofcom has demanded they be cut," TalkTalk said in a statement in response to BT's new pricing scheme. "Yet we reduced our prices back in October last year, even before we knew what level Ofcom would set. And, as our sums demonstrate, we've gone much further too."

For more:
- see the release
- ISPReview has this article

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BT appoints Olivia Garfield as its new Openreach chief
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