This month, Ofcom announced their intentions to review the Mobile Termination Rate (MTR) and to review the base it uses to calculate these costs. The MTR is a charge levied by operators for connecting calls to a different network. The widespread adoption of MPLS, SIGTRAN and service virtualisation technologies within Mobile Network Operators has driven the cost to relay a call from the PSTN to a mobile subscriber down to a point where geographical and mobile wholesale termination rates are extremely similar. Ofcom proposes that the MTR falls even more to less than half a penny per minute by April 2017.
Their press release can be found here.
Their Market Review can be found here.
In October 2011, The Consumer Rights Directive (CRD) was passed by the EU. The CRD comes into effect in 2014 and affects all member states, including the United Kingdom. The CRD aims to simplify consumer rights when buying and selling. It became part of UK Law in December 2013 and must be implemented by all businesses before 12th June 2014 . This particular directive only affects customers that are consumers and not customers that are registered businesses.
As a result of this new directive, UK businesses cannot incur their customers (consumers only) costs beyond a local rate call to contact you. As an example, when a consumer wishes to ring to request support, or raise a billing issue they must be able to contact you without paying more than the 'local' rate.
This change therefore prohibits any businesses offering 084 (including 0845), 087 and 09 numbers as the primary contact numbers. Instead, you should advertise a number beginning with 01, 02 or 03. Freephone numbers are also acceptable.
Stour Marine offers 01, 02, 03 and freephone numbers at competitive prices. Our staff can help with any transfers or alterations that need to be made to your numbering schemes to ensure your business is compliant with this new directive.