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  1. #1
    a8359
    Guest
    T-Mobile leads the race to slash charges for calls abroad before EU
    price clamp

    Richard Wray
    Monday May 8, 2006
    The Guardian

    T-Mobile will slash the cost of using a mobile phone abroad today with
    the launch of a flat-rate roaming service across Europe and North
    America which it reckons will halve calling charges. The move is
    expected to spark a price war as its rival, O2, plans its own flat-rate
    offer in time for the summer holiday season.

    The new tariff comes as the high price of making calls abroad has been
    targeted by the European commission. Earlier this year, Viviane Reding,
    the information society and media commissioner, accused the industry of
    "punishing" travellers. She plans to produce EU legislation scrapping
    international roaming charges in July.

    Article continues
    European travellers are wary of using their phones abroad.
    Three-quarters of mobile users took their phones with them on trips last
    year, according to an Informa survey, but only 35% made a call. From
    June 1, T-Mobile will charge travellers in 29 European countries, Canada
    and the United States a flat 55p a minute to make and receive calls. The
    service will apply to contract and pay-as-you-go customers without them
    having to sign up. T-Mobile reckons pre-pay customers will save 45% when
    in Europe and 54% in America.

    The new pricing makes T-Mobile Britain's cheapest for short calls across
    the 31 countries. Vodafone has a similar flat-rate package called
    Passport, which does not include North America. Vodafone charges
    customers at their domestic rate when overseas, which makes calls
    cheaper than T-Mobile's 55p flat rate, but there is an additional 75p
    connection fee.

    Last week, Orange announced plans to cut international call prices by
    offering a series of "bundles" of low-cost minutes that travellers can
    buy in advance. While Orange reckons these will trim bills by at least a
    quarter, to get the most out of them customers must use their full
    allowance.

    The charges levied by O2 and 3 depend on how a customer pays and which
    country they visit. Costs can be high. An O2 customer calling Britain
    from France will be charged 85p a minute if they pay by contract or 99p
    to 1.50 on pre-pay. The same call on 3 will cost 80p for contract
    customers and 1 on pre-pay.

    O2 has an International Traveller Service, costing 2.99 a month, that
    reduces the price of the same call for contract customers to 58p a
    minute. O2 pre-pay customers travelling in Europe can sign up for a
    "bolt-on" package of cheaper minutes.

    Virgin Mobile also varies its prices, depending on how customers pay and
    where they visit. A pre-pay call from France to the UK costs 95p a
    minute, while the same call for a contract customer is 60p.

    All the mobile phone companies charge customers to receive calls as well
    as make them. Ms Reding wants to outlaw these charges. She has also
    proposed abolishing roaming charges for outgoing calls by next summer,
    replacing them with a "home pricing principle". This means travellers
    would be charged for calls while abroad as if they were making them at home.

    International calling is worth about 7bn a year to the mobile industry.
    The operators are lobbying in Brussels for Ms Reding's proposals to be
    diluted. They also hope that if the industry can reduce prices before
    the summer, she can be persuaded to abandon her push for legislation.



    See More: Orange prices go WAY UP, T-Mobile prices go way down




  2. #2
    andy
    Guest

    Re: Orange prices go WAY UP, T-Mobile prices go way down


    a8359 wrote:
    > T-Mobile leads the race to slash charges for calls abroad before EU
    > price clamp
    >
    > Richard Wray
    > Monday May 8, 2006
    > The Guardian


    A small quote and a link is easier, and doesn't have copyright issues.

    I posted something about this earlier, but have since realised that 55p
    for incoming calls is a significant increase over 20p on their Int'l
    option




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