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Doherty calls for one all Ireland rate for mobile phone users

23 November, 2004

Donegal Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse Doherty has called for one mobile phone rate for all mobile phone users on the island. Councillor Doherty was speaking before mobile phone bosses were due to get a grilling today about Irish call charges when they appeared before the Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Marine and Natural resources.

Speaking in Donegal today he said:

"Living in close proximity to the border often results in involuntary 'roaming' charges being imposed on unsuspecting mobile users because of a competing stronger signal from the opposite side of the border. Mobile phone signals do not recognise borders and therefore short of turning the phone off when travelling there is no option but to pay. That is unless the mobile phone service providers cease to exploit their customers on either side of the border.

"While I welcome O2's all Ireland rate I do not think that it is acceptable that their customers who avail of this rate have to pay an extra fee of €7.50 per month.

"The major providers of mobile phone services operate on both sides of the border and there is no rational reason why regulators North and South cannot get together and devise a formula for a single competitive tariff for the 32 Counties.

"Irish people per head of population provide more profit to the companies than any of our european countreparts, in fact we are one of the highest in the world. Therefore I am calling on all mobile phone bosses to stop exploiting Irish customers and to provide, without delay, a real all Ireland rate for mobile phone charges." ENDS

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