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Watchdog cuts mobile network charges

The amount of money that mobile operators can legally charge other companies for connecting a call originating from another network will be reduced at the end of this month.Ofcom says that the new charge controls, coming into effect at the end of March, will save up to £500 million, much of which will filter through to customers.For the first time the charges will apply to Hutchison-owned 3 and other 3G network providers, as well as the 2G networks already subject to regulation.Until April 2011 3's network charges will be reduced by 5.9p per minute, a cut of 45 per cent on current fees.Vodafone, O2, Orange and T-Mobile meanwhile will all have to lower their charges by 5.1p per minute.These new measures represent a 20 per cent reduction for Orange and T-Mobile, and a lowering of ten per cent for Vodafone and O2.Ofcom said that it expected the new controls to "result in significant savings for consumers over the four year period that the charge controls will apply".

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