14.4Mbit mobile broadband and network enlargement were not the only topics on the table in my briefing with 3 CEO Kevin Russell this morning for he also had some rather exciting news I managed to squeeze out...
On 1 November 3 will launch a potentially game changing new tariff: unlimited calls, unlimited text messages and a 1GB data allowance for just £15pm. What? Where? How? Huh?
Ok, let's start from the beginning. As I mentioned earlier MTRs are severely hampering 3's ability to break away from other rival operators and offer bargain basement prices to its customers. What are MTRs? They stand for 'Mobile Termination Rates' and they represent the charge 3 pays to other rival telcos when making a call to their network. In real terms this costs 3 6p a minute so if they don't charge more than this to their customers they won't make any profit.
The catch is the real world cost of MTRs is actually only about 1p per minute to their respective networks and they bank the rest. For 3 this adds up to a whopping £190m bill per annum - quite the disadvantage. Thankfully the EC is pushing for MTRs to be cut substantially to promote fairer competition and better value to customers and in an effort to show just how vital this is 3 has come up with this unlimited tariff.
As you might expect by now - if you've been following closely - this plan only applies to calls made between customers on the same network. Unlimited calls, unlimited messages and 1GB data all for just £15 per month. Were MTRs to be cut Kevin tells me they could have a plan in place to offer the same scheme across every network "tomorrow".
Of course you can vote with your wallets. Theoretically everyone could swap to 3 and save a fortune, but more realistically however let's hope and pray the EC takes a machete to MTRs...