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Crowe welcomes all Ireland phone rate from O2

11 August, 2003

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications Seán Crowe TD has welcomed as a positive first step the announcement from mobile phone operator O2 (Ireland) that they are to introduce an All Ireland Call Rate for business users and ordinary consumers.

Deputy Crowe said: "This announcement from O2 (Ireland) is a positive first step towards the development of a truly All Ireland mobile call rate. Up to now it has been a source of immense frustration and anger for people travelling to the Six Counties both on pleasure and business as they incur charges for receiving calls once they cross the border as a result of so-called 'roaming' charges.

Specifically it has hit people in the border regions hardest where crossing the border is a normal everyday and natural occurence. It is also a fact that in many areas the signals from mobile phone masts in the Six Counties are often stronger than in the 26 Counties so people close to the border can be charged for 'roaming' calls when they don't even leave the jurisdiction.

"To most people the border has lost any real relevance. Social and economic contact is increasing all the time and O2's announcement is an acknowledgement of that fact. I would call on the other mobile phone operators in the 26 Counties to follow the example of O2 and introduce similar all Ireland rates for their customers."

"While this development is welcome for business users and ordinary consumers in the 26 Counties it needs to be matched by mobile phone operators in the Six Counties. O2 (UK) should in conjunction with O2 (Ireland) launch a similar rate for people in the Six Counties travelling to the 26 Counties. There is absolutely no justification whatsoever for people being charged for roaming calls while still on the island of Ireland by any network."ENDS

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