O2: MTRs could affect 6 million customers

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O2 CEO Ronan Dunne warns 10 per cent of UK population could end up without mobile devices as a result of MTR cuts

O2 CEO Ronan Dunne fears up to 10 per cent of the population could go without any form of telecommunications as a result of mobile termination rate cuts, which have forced it to reduce or remove subsidies on devices.

Mobile News reported last month that O2 has now cut about half of its subsidies from prepay devices and T-Mobile and Orange parent company Everything Everywhere would be
following suit in June and July.

Dunne (pictured) said about 10 per cent of the population would have no access to any form of telephony if they lost access to a prepay phone, highlighting the importance from a “social inclusion” perspective.

He said the lack of fixed-line telephone boxes available was due to vandalism or a reduction by BT.

It has previously been suggested the cost of outgoing calls may also increase and even charges for incoming calls be introduced at some stage.

O2 said it had no plans to change its prepay pricing at this time, having only recently updated and refreshed its tariffs.

Dunne said: “From a social inclusion point of view, there’s probably 10 per cent of the population, who if they can’t have access to a prepay phone, have no access to telephony communications.

“Previously, it could still be economic for an operator to give a customer who makes very few outgoing calls a subsidy on a handset, because incoming calls are charged a termination fee. Those customers will simply no longer be profitable.”

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