Everything Everywhere and Telefónica have also attacked the Competition Commission's decision to speed up the slashing of mobile termination rates (MTR).
Last night, the commission ruled that the cost per minute will plummet from 4.18p to 0.65p by 2015, one year ahead of Ofcom's original proposals.
A spokeswoman for Everything Everywhere said: 'We are disappointed that the Competition Commission has disregarded the points we made regarding the effect of the proposed mobile termination rates, particularly on vulnerable pay as you go customers. The new rates are not good news for consumers as they will mean that we have to make changes to the pay-as-you-go model and the level of handset subsidies that we offer those customers, as the model will become unsustainable.' She added that the operator would not comment further until it has reviewed the documentation.
An O2 spokesman also attacked the report. He said: 'We are deeply disappointed with the Competition Commission’s report. They confirm what we’ve always said, that lower MTRs will hurt prepay customers and that BT’s customers have not benefited from lower ‘calls to mobiles’ prices even though MTRs have been falling for a long time. But the Competition Commission has accepted Ofcom’s argument that competition in the already fiercely competitive mobile market will be enhanced.'
Their comments follow Vodafone's criticism of the ruling, who also said it would damage consumers and the prepay market. However, both Three and Ofcom welcomed the Competition Appeals Tribunal decision.
A spokesman for the Competition Commission said there was a 'significant possibility' that any one of the critics would appeal. Anyone objecting to the findings has a deadline of 21 February to raise concerns. If this was to happen, the Competition Appeal Tribunal would take fresh submissions from the relevant operator with the Competition Commission potentially re-examining the case.