Trends in telecommunications prices - July 2023



Executive Summary

Telecom prices unchanged month-on-month

In July 2023, telecom prices, as measured by the relevant group of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), were unchanged on the previous month.

Compared with the same month last year, prices rose by 3.9%. This change in telecom prices was 0.9 percentage points (p.p.) higher than the CPI (3.1%).

The average rate of change for telecommunications prices over the last twelve months was 2.6%, or 4.7 p.p. less than the rate recorded for the CPI (7.3%).

On a subgroup basis, according to Eurostat, the average rate of change over the last 12 months in Portugal was 4.2% for bundled services and 1.4% for mobile phone services.

Average rate of change over the last 12 months was 1.9 p.p. higher in Portugal than in the EU

In July 2023, the average rate of change of telecoms prices over the last 12 months was higher in Portugal than in the European Union (+1.9 p.p.). Portugal recorded the 10th highest (18th lowest) price change among EU countries. The country with the highest price increase was Poland (+7.2%), while the largest decrease was recorded in the Netherlands (-3.2%). On average, telecommunications prices in the EU increased by 0.7%.

On a sub-group basis, the average rate of change over the last 12 months of prices for bundled services and mobile services in Portugal were both 2.1 p.p. above the EU average.

Telecommunications prices up by 16.7% since the end of 2010

From a long-term perspective and in cumulative terms, telecommunications prices have increased by 16.7% since the end of 2010 while the CPI has increased by 24.2%. Between 2015 and 2019, the cumulative change in telecommunications prices was higher than the cumulative change in the CPI due to “price adjustments” made by the main providers. In 2019, the narrowing of the divergence between the two indexes 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 cap on international intra-EU calls and SMS.

Without the reduction in the price of intra-EU calls, it is estimated that telecommunications prices would have increased by 20.6% since the end of 2010, being cumulatively 3.6 p.p. below the change in the CPI over this period.

The CPI started to grow at a faster rate than telecommunications prices as from the end of 2021.

Prices up by 14.6% in Portugal and down by 8.5% in the EU since 2009

Between the end of 2009 and July 2023, telecom prices in Portugal increased by 14.6%, while in the EU they decreased by 8.5%. A more detailed comparative analysis shows that between the end of 2009 and July 2023, telecoms prices increased by 14.6% in Portugal and 2.1% in Belgium, while they decreased by 14.5% and 12.7% respectively in Germany and Luxembourg.

NOWO with the lowest monthly fee for eight offers

The lowest monthly charges are offered by NOWO in eight cases out of a total of 13 services/offers, while MEO and Vodafone offer the lowest monthly charges for four and two types of services/offers, respectively. NOS had the lowest monthly fee for one service/offer.

Compared to the previous year, there were 33 services/offers with price increases and 6 with price decreases. The most notable price changes were as follows:

  • The minimum FTS charge increased by 5.3% due to the increase in the price per minute of calls to the fixed network of Vodafone’s Fixed Voice Tariff from EUR 7 cents to EUR 7.38 cents.
  • The minimum monthly charge of the MTS offer with mobile Internet increased by 4.3% due to the end of the first monthly charge offer of NOWO’s tariff, and to the end of the Uzo post-paid tariff with a monthly charge of EUR 7.50 and MEO’s offer of the first monthly charge, in March 2023.
  • The minimum monthly charges for 3P, 4P and two 2P offers have decreased due to an increase of the discount value of NOWO’s offer, during the first 6 months, as from January 2023.
  • The minimum monthly charge for the 5P offer increased by 12.3% due to the increase in the monthly charge for Vodafone’s Fibre 4 Light offer in February 2023 and the discontinuation of this offer in June 2023.

Compared to the same month last year, and on a provider basis, MEO increased the monthly charge for eight services/offers, while NOS increased the monthly charge for ten services/offers. Vodafone increased the minimum monthly charge for all thirteen relevant services/offers. NOWO reduced the monthly charge for six services/offers (increase in the discount value, during the first six months, of the NOWO offer) and increased the monthly charge for two services/offers.