National and international call charges will be slashed over the next 10 years but forget free local calls, according to a report out today. Telecommunications research company Ovum concludes in a report out this week that changes in technology, markets and regulations will continue to cut the price of our phone calls. As a result international telecoms traffic is expected to double by the year 2008. Collapsing tariffs however will halve the value of the international telephony market, causing a shakeout amongst telephone operators maintains Ovum?s report. ?People will be shopping around for the best deals on telephony packages that may include free Internet access for example,? commented Parantha Narendran, a consultant for Ovum. ?Consumers won?t be worried about going with a package that doesn?t have recognised branding, they will want the best price possible and it will force BT to lower prices to compete.? Currently 40 per cent of UK households and 60 per cent of corporates use an alternative telecoms carrier to BT. Narendran does not believe, however, that the UK will see free local phone calls as in the US. ?In the US they didn?t envisage the arrival of the Internet when they set these tariffs, so they are having to recuperate costs on expensive line rental,? explained Narendran, ?I can?t see operators pushing to bring it here, it wouldn?t make economic sense for them.?
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