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Mobile operators blame price hike on Ofcom ruling

If you find yourself with a fatter mobile bill than usual at the end of this month, you can blame Ofcom, according to Vodafone and Orange.

The mobile giants are both pointing the finger at the telecoms watchdog for price hikes on both networks that came into force today.

Orange has already bumped its minimum call charge for 'pay-as-you-go' tariffs from 20p to 25p and Vodafone is imposing an identical minimum charge - up from 21p - later this month.

Text charges on both networks will also rise from 10p to 12p.

The increases follow cuts made by Ofcom to the amount of money the companies are allowed to charge for cross-network calls, known as 'termination charges'. Ofcom slashed the rate from 4.18p to 2.66p earlier this year, and has plans to make further cuts.

All of the major mobile providers complained about the move at the time the decision was made, and threatened that the shortfall in profits would lead to increased customer charges.

A Vodafone spokesperson told Moneywise, "This price rise comes after recent regulatory changes. During our discussions with Ofcom over mobile termination rates, we stressed that if the rates came down rapidly and dramatically, the cost of pay as you go was likely to rise as a consequence."

Looks like they've been as good as their word.