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UPDATE 1-T-Mobile to pay $40 mln over false ring tones on rural U.S. calls

From Reuters - April 16, 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - T-Mobile USA Inc (TMUS.O) agreed on Monday to pay $40 million to resolve a government investigation that found it failed to correct problems with delivering calls in rural areas and inserted false ring tones in hundreds of millions of calls, the Federal Communications Commission said.

T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG (DTEGn.DE), agreed to changes and acknowledged that it had injected false ring tones into hundreds of millions of long-distance rural calls, the FCC said, in violation of FCC rules.

The company did not immediately comment on Monday.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement it is a basic tenet of the nations phone system that calls be completed to the called party, without a reduction in the call qualityeven when the calls pass through intermediate providers. The FCC is committed to ensuring that phone calls to all Americans, including rural Americans, go through.

The FCC said false ring tones cause callers to believe that the phone is ringing at the called partys premises when it is not. The agency added that uncompleted calls cause rural businesses to lose revenue, impede medical professionals from reaching patients in rural areas, cut families off from their relatives, and create the potential for dangerous delays in public safety communications.

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