Trends in telecommunications prices - June 2022

Executive Summary

Telecoms prices down 0.2% in June 2022

In June 2022, telecommunications prices, measured through the respective sub-group of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), decreased by 0.2% compared to the previous month due to price changes in some bundled offers.

Compared to the same month of the previous year, prices increased by 2.1%, mainly influenced by the price increase implemented by MEO, NOS and Vodafone in April 2022.1 This growth in telecommunications prices was 6.7 percentage points (p.p.) lower than that recorded by the CPI.

The average rate of change of telecoms prices in the last twelve months was 1.8%, i.e., 2.3 p.p. below that recorded by the CPI (4.1%).

Average change over the last 12 months in Portugal was 1.2 p.p. higher than in the EU

In June 2022, the average rate of change over the last 12 months in telecoms prices in Portugal was higher than in the European Union (+1.2 p.p.). Portugal recorded the 8th highest price variation (20th lowest) among EU countries. The country with the highest price increase was Poland (+4.9%) while the highest decrease was Bulgaria (-5.0%). On average, telecommunications prices in the EU increased by 0.6%.

Telecoms prices up 12.3% since the end of 2010

From a long-term perspective and in cumulative terms, telecoms prices have grown 12.3% since the end of 2010 while the CPI grew 20.5%. Between 2015 and 2019 the cumulative change in telecoms prices was greater than that in the CPI due to the “price adjustments” made by the main providers. In 2019, the narrowing in the divergence between the two indices was mainly due to the entry into force of Regulation (EU) 2018/1971 of the European Parliament and of the Council which imposed a maximum price for international intra-EU calls and SMSs.

Without the price reduction of intra-EU calls, it is estimated that telecommunications prices would have grown by 16.0% since the end of 2010, being 4.5 p.p. below the CPI variation in this period.

From the end of 2021, the CPI started to grow at a higher rate than telecoms prices.

Since 2009, prices have risen 10.3% in Portugal and fallen 9.5% in the EU

Between the end of 2009 and June 2022, telecoms prices in Portugal increased by 10.3%, while in the EU they decreased by 9.5%. The gap has narrowed with the entry into force on 15 May 2019 of new European rules regulating intra-EU communications prices.

A finer comparative analysis shows that between the end of 2009 and June 2022, telecoms prices fell by 14.4% in Lithuania, while in Latvia, Finland and Portugal they rose by 1.8%, 5.2% and 10.3% respectively.

NOWO with the lowest monthly fee for eight offers

NOWO offered the lowest monthly fees in eight cases out of a range of 13 services/offers, while MEO and Vodafone presented the lowest monthly fees for three and two types of services/offers respectively.

In year-on-year terms, there were 9 services/offers with price increases and 5 with price decreases. The following price changes stand out:

  • The minimum STV monthly fee increased by 7.6% due to the discontinuation of NOS's single play STV offers.
  • FBB's minimum monthly fee decreased by 4.2%, due to the offer of the first monthly fee of NOWO's base service.
  • The minimum MTS monthly fee with Internet increased 43.8%, due to the elimination of MEO's offer (Uzo offer) with a monthly fee of five euros.
  • The minimum monthly fees for the FBB+STV (+11.1%), STV+FTS and 3P (+0.4%) offers increased following the elimination of NOWO's STV option at 2.5 euros/month.
  • The minimum monthly fees of the 4P offers increased 1.3% due to the elimination of NOWO's STV option at 2.5 euros/month.

Per provider, MEO increased the monthly fees of two services/offers and decreased the monthly fees of three services/offers (increased the base monthly fee of 4P offers supported on ADSL or satellite network by two euros, but started to offer the first monthly fee on 4P and 5P offers). NOS increased the minimum monthly fee of a service/offer in relation to the same month of the previous year, while Vodafone cut the monthly fee of an offer (Internet mobile broadband via PC/tablet). NOWO increased the minimum monthly fees of six services/offers and decreased the monthly fee of one (offer of the first monthly fee of the fixed broadband single play basic service).

1 See chapter 2 of the report ''Trends in telecommunications prices - April 2022''