Austrian mobile consumers have relatively cheap options for Sim-only postpaid plans, including falling prices for large bundles, according to the latest research by Telecompaper. However, the price can increase significantly in Austria if a premium smartphone is included, the comparative study on mobile prices across western Europe found.
For the Sim-only plans on offer in Q1, the median prices at Austrian operators were below the median of the 16 countries surveyed by Telecompaper in its EU Benchmark report. For the biggest type of plan, with at least 1,000 minutes and 10 GB per month, Austria moved up to the fourth cheapest in Europe. The median price for such a plan in Austria dropped to EUR 20 per month from EUR 48 a year earlier, thanks to a big fall in prices at market leader A1 as well as new, cheaper plans from Drei and Telering.
“The huge number of MVNOs on the Austrian market is keeping price competition intense for Sim-only plans, and this is reflected in the downward trend we see over the past year,” said Marion ter Welle, Telecompaper senior research analyst and co-author of the EU Benchmark report. “At the same time, the big operators offer relatively few plans and are focused increasingly on large bundles for high-value customers, with none of the plans identified offering less than 1,000 minutes a month and nearly three-quarters coming with 10+ GB a month.”
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While Sim-only prices are trending lower, Telecompaper found that Austria is relatively expensive if a top smartphone is included with the postpaid plan. These bundles tend to come with higher monthly subscription fees than the Sim-only plans, and all three mobile operators have expensive plans with larger allowances available only with a handset. Consumers can still find a bargain if they compare plans closely, as the price of a plan with at least 1,000 minutes and 10 GB varied from EUR 28 to EUR 52 per month with the same handset.