Ofcom says its text-to-switch mobile plans are working, and it has the proof

(Image credit: Future)

Four years after first introducing the service, Ofcom has analyzed the impact of the “Text-to-Switch” system UK telecoms providers were forced to implement, and published its findings in a new report that claims the service was a resounding success.

The text-to-switch system was designed to simplify the process of moving from one telecommunications provider to another for the consumers. It was also designed to be more transparent, so that the consumers are more aware of any potential costs that might come with a premature termination of a contract.

To switch from one provider of the big four providers (EE, Vodafone, O2, and Three UK) to another, all the user needs to do is send a free text message and get a unique code. Then, they would give that code to their new provider, which then must make the transfer within one working day, with no notice period charges applying.

Savings and earnings

As per the report, in the first 12 months after introducing the service, UK consumers made 4.1 million mobile switches, up 600,000 compared to the year prior. That represents a 15% uptick year-on-year. A year later, in 2021, the number of switches increased once again, to 4.2 million.

The watchdog also says that by preventing any notice period charges, as well as speeding the process up, UK consumers made substantial savings. In fact, consumers will have saved some £130 million over 10 years on this. Furthermore, Ofcom tried to analyze if these changes forced the telecommunications providers to modify their prices, but could not find any connections between the two. 

Reporting on the news, ISP Review pointed out that in 2017 Ofcom estimated that the introduction of the new system would cost the industry a lot less -  £44m over 10 years. However, the watchdog also predicted that UK consumers would save around £10m each year.

The reforms were “implemented on time and had a greater take-up than we had expected in the 2017 Statement,“ Ofcom concluded.

Via: ISPReview

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.