The rising cost of living is a common gripe, but the price of mobile and broadband plans have dropped in the past three years thanks to aggressive competition from providers. mobile phone cost
The average mobile plan is about $11 a month cheaper than it was in 2014, new data shows, with fixed internet down about $10.
Telcos are pricing their plans lower in an increasingly competitive environment to hold onto budget-sensitive customers.
This has seen the cost of every mobile and broadband product, including national broadband network connections, drop since 2014, data from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission released on Wednesday shows.
The regulator’s 2016-17 annual report shows price reductions in real terms across the telco services, when controlling the figure for non-price characteristics, inflation and consumer spending patterns.
Its measure considers it a price decline if a customer gets more bang for their buck through a more generous plan for the same cost.
Post-paid mobile declined in price the most, with a 7.6 per cent reduction since 2014.
Prepaid mobile prices also dropped 5 per cent, desptelecomte there being an increase in higher-priced prepaid plans. In the last financial year, prepaid prices increased 2.4 per cent.
The price of a fixed internet service dropped 4.5 per cent from 2014 to 2017.
A quarter of all fixed broadband plans available offered unlimited data, up from 5 per cent compared to three years ago.
ACCC acting chair Delia Rickard said competition in the telco market was benefiting consumers.
“Consumers are obtaining greater value for money and receiving and using more data each year,” Ms Rickard said.
“In other encouraging developments, we are seeing new players enter the fixed and wireless broadband markets and this will provide further competitive pressure going forward.”
Data provided to Fairfax Media by comparison site Finder, using a combination of average plans and survey data, shows price declines of more than $11 a month for NBN services in the same time period.
Finder spokesman Alex Kidman said this decrease in price had been anticipated, but it was still “often perceived to be far more expensive from a consumer standpoint than ADSL”.
“That’s most likely because ADSL plans aren’t segmented by speed tiers and there’s many more unlimited plans available,” he said.
The average cost for a postpaid contract in 2017 with a phone included was $65 a month, compared to $43 a month without a new phone.