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The 4.8% rise in telecom prices is the highest monthly increase in Portugal in the last 27 years

In February 2023, telecom prices, as measured by the relevant group of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), increased by 4.8% compared to January. This is the highest monthly increase in the last 27 years (since January 1996). Compared to February 2022, prices increased by 3.9%, the largest positive change since December 2016. Portugal telecom prices

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Considering only the increases registered in 2023 (January and February), Portugal recorded the highest increase in telecom prices in the European Union (+5.1%).

On average over the last twelve months, telecom prices in Portugal increased by 1.7%, compared with an increase of 0.1% in the European Union (EU). Portugal recorded the 10th highest price change among the EU countries. The country with the highest price increase was Poland (+4.9%) while the largest decrease was recorded in the Netherlands (-3.9%).

Table 1 – Evolution of telecoms prices: Portugal vs UE
February 2023 2022
Year-on-year
change
Average change over

the last 12 months

Change over
previous
month
Average

change over
the last12
months

EU (%) 0.9 0.1 0.4 0.0
Portugal (%) 3.9 1.7 4.8 1.8
Deviation PT / EU (p.p.) 3.0 1.5 4.5 1.7
Relative position (descending order among 27 countries) 9th 10th 1st 7th

Unit:%, p.p.
Source: Eurostat

Between the end of 2009 and February 2023, telecom prices in Portugal rose by 13.2% while in the EU they fell by 8.8%. With the price increases in February, the divergence in the evolution of electronic communications prices in Portugal and in the EU has increased by 22 percentage points in cumulative terms. This evolution confirms the existing competitive deficit in the market, aggravated by the loyalty scheme in Portugal which has not led to low prices. On the contrary, according to several benchmarks, Portugal is one of the EU countries where prices for electronic communications have increased the most.

Figure 1 – Change in the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) for telecommunications in the EU between December 2009 and February 2023

Change in the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) for telecommunications in the EU between December 2009 and February 2023

Unit: %
Source: ANACOM, based on Eurostat data
Note: Information not available for Ireland, Malta, Sweden and Estonia.

Figure 2 – Evolution of telecom prices in Portugal and in the EU (2009M12 = Base 100)

Evolution of telecom prices in Portugal and in the European Union (2009M12 = Base 100)

Unit: index (2009M12 = Base 100)
Source: ANACOM, based on Eurostat data
Note: EU Telecom prices as of December 2016 differ from those previously published due to changes made by Eurostat. Data up to November 2016 were collected on 16 March 2018. data from December 2016 onwards were collected on 17 March 2023.

Mobile Internet in Portugal is the 2nd most expensive in the European Union

Portugal is not only one of the EU countries where prices have risen the most. It is also one of the countries where you pay more for services. According to the international price comparison study published by Rewheel, the “Digital Fuel Monitor”, the average price per gigabyte of mobile phone Internet offers in Portugal at the beginning of 2023 was the 2nd highest in the EU and the 4th highest among the 50 countries analysed.

The same study also mentions that Portugal was the 5th country in the EU and 13th of the 50 countries analysed where 25 euros bought the least mobile internet traffic. Finally, according to this study, Portugal is the 4th country in the EU and the 10th of the 50 countries analysed with the highest minimum monthly price for mobile Internet offers with at least 100 GB.

Rewheel also finds that in 2022, inflation had a moderate impact in markets with three mobile network operators and no impact in the case of markets with four operators. In most markets with four providers, telecom prices fell or did not change, despite inflation being around 9%.

29 services/offers increased in price and only 8 registered a decrease Portugal telecom prices

In February, 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.

Compared to the previous year, there were 29 services/offers with price increases and eight with price decreases. The most notable price changes were as follows:

  • The PTV minimum monthly charge increased by 7.6% after NOS discontinued PTV single-play offers. In February 2023, MEO’s single-play offer showed the PTV minimum monthly charge.
  • 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 7 cents to 7.38 cents.
  • 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.

Compared to the same month last year, and per provider, MEO increased the monthly charge for seven services/offers and reduced the monthly charge for one service/offer (offer of the first monthly charge of the Uzo offer). NOS also reduced the monthly charge for one service/offer (change of the monthly charge for the FTS Plano Poupança Fixo offer), having increased the monthly charge for ten services/offers. Vodafone increased the minimum monthly charge for 12 services/offers. NOWO reduced the monthly charge for six services/offers (an increase in the discount value, during the first six months, of the NOWO offer).

  • The PTV minimum monthly fee increased by 7.6% after NOS ended its single-play PTV offers. In February 2023, the PTV minimum monthly fee corresponded to an MEO single-play offer.
  • 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 7 cents to 7.38 cents.
  • The minimum monthly fees for 3P, 4P and two 2P offers have decreased due to an increase of the discount value, during the first 6 months, of NOWO’s offer.

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