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Getting absolutely hosed by UK networks: Why is it so expensive to call another mobile?

I’m looking down my recent calls list.

I made a call last night at 1130pm to a colleague for 27 minutes.

I was billed 7 quid by T-Mobile for that call.


That’s 36p a minute, to call someone on another mobile network, after I’m out of my bundled minutes.

What the hell is this industry playing at? Why are we still be nutted for THIRTY SIX PENCE a minute?

You know, 10 years ago, when the miracle of mobile calling was a fresh, delightful experience, we all nodded in agreement. Obviously it cost money to deliver a conversation to a mobile device, so no one had an issue with it actually costing 30-40p a minute to make calls.

I completely despair at two things: –

– One: The operators for charging stupid rates. You’re a sodding commodity. Get real. After I’ve used up my minutes, there’s no excuse to hammer us for almost 40p a minute. Even on Vodafone’s top service plan, I was astonished to find that I’m still paying 35p+ VAT for calls.

– Two: The apathetic British public. I reckon the wool has been pulled over our eyes. We seem to accept that it’s fine to be nailed by these service providers after we go over our standard minute allowance. No one seems to care though. Some of my friends earning £1,200 a month don’t think twice about living with a £120 a month mobile bill. 10% of your income??


I selected the T-Mobile ‘relax 50’ plan. 750 minutes, 42 quid a month, plus some texts, ex VAT.

That works out at 6p a minute, ok?

Good deal.

After I’ve done 750 minutes, they then add on 30p a minute charge if I’m calling another mobile network.


It’s not as if the networks are being held together with pieces of string and some tape. They’ve been doing interconnects for years. Surely they’ve had time to make it efficient, get some economies of scale and bring the cost down?

Sick. Tired. Pissed off.

I abhore it all.

If anyone ever asks you why the mobile industry goes absolutely nowhere, slowly, this is why. You’ve got fixed line mindset idiots sat in charge who just don’t get it.

Their time is coming to an end soon, especially when some smart cookies enter the industry and make it all 5p/min whoever you call, whenever.

So I’m off to go and buy more sodding allowances from T-Mobile.

I am seriously going to have to start saying ‘er, sorry, have you got a landline I can call please?’ when I have to phone clients. I have a huge problem paying 36p a minute for such a shite bog standard commodity.

The worst possible thing you could do today is to phone up and say ‘Hi, Ewan, I’m calling from Ofcom..’ I will bite your head off.

Has anyone got a solution? Like a wickedly good badly publicised price plan from Three or something that I should be using? Any recommendations apart from the current UK wide consumer strategy of ‘Put Up, Shut Up And Pay’?

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

3 replies on “Getting absolutely hosed by UK networks: Why is it so expensive to call another mobile?”

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