August 19, 2016
On behalf of overcharged customers across the UK, BT took mobile phone operators to court over connection charges, and the company has won a landmark legal ruling.
According to the ruling, mobile phone network operators owe BT tens of millions of pounds for connection charges made to BT customers when mobile phones were dialled from their landlines.
In 2006, all mobile network operators tried to increase termination rates, leading to a dispute between BT and mobile operators, as well as disagreements between 3, O2, and Orange.
The competition appeals tribunal (CAT) has ruled that the price increases were too high, and that repayments need to be made.
A BT spokesperson said the company is very pleased with the ruling, which sets a significant precedent.
According to BT, the high termination rates charged by mobile phone operators costs consumers an unnecessary £1 billion every year.
Last year Ofcom cut the rates of the UK’s four largest network providers by 10-20%. 3’s termination rates were cut by 45%.
Mobile companies are currently appealing against Ofcom’s rate cuts, although BT anticipates that this most recent ruling by CAT means that network operators will have their appeal rejected.
The EU telecoms commissioner is currently considering legislation to force mobile phone companies to cut termination rates by 70%.