UK based Telefonica O2 has announced today that “With online transactions charged to the mobile set to increase exponentially in the next few years, we’ve also announced that we’re launching a range of significant upgrades to our mobile billing solution as part of our new Charge to Mobile service available later this year.”

Currently operator billing costs around 15-25% of the payment collected for each transaction. For some products, that cost is too high to enable profit to be made after taking into account marketing costs.

While O2 have not annouced the new rates, we are expecting them to be significantly lower, which will make mobile billing more competitive with alternatives, yet still with all the benefits of one click, no registration payment.

This is really good news for content providers targetting O2 users, and could catalyze other operators into making similar moves. Bango is immediately passing on these benefits to its customers, and agrees with O2 that this should expand the market for Apps, Content and Services billed to mobile accounts..

Bango was the first company to offer mobile web payments as a partner of O2 back in 2002, and also connects leading players such as Blackberry and Facebook to the O2 payments system as an accredited intermediary.