Mobile Phones: Fees and Charges
Culture Media and Sport
Mary Glindon (North Tyneside, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will encourage mobile telephone operators to review their charges for (a) 0800, (b) directory enquiries and (c) other non-geographic calls.
Edward Vaizey (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Culture, Communications and Creative Industries), Business, Innovation and Skills; Wantage, Conservative)
This is an operational matter for Ofcom, the independent regulator.
Ofcom is currently engaged in a review of non-geographic calls, which includes 0800 and directory inquiries and is of the view that regulatory change is needed as the existing market structure does not encourage transparency or competition. This has included detailed discussion with industry to gather support for the changes, minimize implementation costs and risks and identify the full consequence of change.
In February 2012, Ofcom expects to consult on detailed proposals intended to overhaul the regulation of non-geographic calls. The mobile industry will be directly engaged in the consultation process. Ofcom's proposals include the recommendation that 080 should be free from all phones (fixed and mobile); and that there should be clear pricing rules for revenue sharing ranges, including 118, which will allow price comparison between 118 providers and restrict the mobile companies' ability to exploit consumer confusion.