Prices unchanged in May 2022
In May 2022, telecoms prices, measured through the respective sub-index of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), were unchanged from the previous month.
Compared to the same month of the previous year, prices increased by 2.2%, which is 5.8 percentage points (p.p.) lower than CPI growth. The above trend resulted mainly from the price increases implemented by MEO, NOS and Vodafone in April 2022.1
The average rate of change of telecommunications prices in the last twelve months was 1.6%, i.e., 1.7 p.p. below that recorded by the CPI (3.4%).
Average change over the last 12 months in Portugal was 1.0 p.p. higher than in the EU
In May 2022, the average rate of change of telecommunications prices in Portugal was higher than in the European Union (+1.0 p.p.). The average rate of change over the last twelve months in telecommunications prices in Portugal was the 8th highest (20th lowest) among the EU countries. The country with the highest price increase was Slovakia (+4.9%) while the highest decrease was Bulgaria (-5.3%). On average, telecoms prices in the EU increased by 0.6%.
Prices have increased by 12.5% since the end of 2010
From a long-term perspective and in cumulative terms, telecoms prices have grown 12.5% since the end of 2010 while the CPI grew 19.5%. Between 2015 and 2019 the cumulative change in telecommunications prices was higher than the cumulative change in the CPI due to the “price adjustments” made by the main providers. From May 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 SMS.
Without the price reduction of intra-EU calls, it is estimated that telecommunications prices would have grown by 16.2% since the end of 2010, being in cumulative terms 3.3 p.p. below the CPI variation in this period.
Since 2009, prices have risen 10.5% in Portugal and fallen 9.6% in the EU
Between the end of 2009 and May 2022, telecoms prices in Portugal increased by 10.5%, while in the EU they decreased by 9.6%. The gap has narrowed with the entry into force on 15 May 2019 of the new European rules regulating intra-EU communications prices.
A finer comparative analysis shows that between the end of 2009 and May 2022, telecoms prices fell by 14.6% in Germany, 6.5% in Luxembourg and 1.2% in Belgium, while in Portugal they rose by 10.5%.
NOWO has 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 two types of service/offer. NOS presented the lowest monthly fees for one type of service/offer.
On a year-on-year basis, there were 13 price increases and 5 price decreases. The following price changes stand out:
- 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 monthly fee of the Mobile Telephone Service with Internet increased 50.0%, due to the elimination of the NOWO and MEO offers (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 TV option at 2.5 euros/month;
- the minimum monthly fees for the 4P offers increased by 9.9% due to the elimination of NOWO's mobile phone service option with a monthly fee of five euros, and 1.0% due to the elimination of NOWO's TV option at 2.5 euros/month, for a total of 11.0%;
- the minimum monthly fee for the 5P offer increased by 4.3%, following the elimination of the first monthly fee offer from Vodafone's base service.
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 did not change its minimum monthly fees in relation to the same month of the previous year. Vodafone increased the minimum monthly fees of three services/offers and decreased the monthly fee of one offer (mobile broadband internet via PC/tablet offer). In turn, NOWO increased the minimum monthly fees of eight services/offers and decreased the monthly fee of one service/offer (offer of the first monthly fee of the single-play fixed broadband base service).
Communications 19.3% above the European average
In absolute terms, and according to EUROSTAT, in 2021, communications prices in Portugal were 19.3% above the European average (8th position among the EU countries with the highest communications prices).
Communications, clothing and footwear, and personal transport are the only products in Portugal where price levels are above the European average.
1 See chapter 2 of the report ''Trends in telecommunications prices - April 2022''https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1727294