Cellphone call rates seen declining in Germany

The mobile unit of Deutsche Telekom predicts that prices of mobile phone calls will fall by up to 20% in Germany this year, a Reuters report said.

Reuters quoted T-Mobile CEO Rene Obermann as saying that call prices were falling rapidly in Germany and other European countries amid fierce competition stoked by a growing range of budget resellers offering cheap or flat-rate deals. In 2005, they fell around 10% in Germany.

"I expect a price decline of up to 20% this year, depending on how the dynamics with budget operators go," Obermann was quoted as saying.

Obermann said T-Mobile was also cutting its roaming prices by another 40%, meaning German-based customers could now call Germany from abroad for 33 eurocents ($0.39) per minute, the report said.

Operators were under pressure from the European Union to cut roaming rates and bring down fees, the report further said.