In August 2021, telecommunications prices, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) sub-index, fell by 0.1% compared to the previous month due to changes in some bundled offers. Compared to August 2020, prices increased by 1.7%. In August 2021 and for the first time since October 2017, the change in telecommunications prices in year-on-year terms was higher than the change in CPI (+0.2 percentage points).
The average variation rate of telecommunications prices over the last twelve months in Portugal was -0.3% (0.8 percentage points below the change in CPI (0.5%)). This price reduction reflects a drop in the monthly charge for some post-paid mobile broadband offers via PC/Tablet and some bundled offers occurring in 2019 and 2020.
Since January 2021, telecommunications prices have risen by 1.8% (0.6 percentage points above CPI, due to the growth in monthly charges for bundled offers.
In August 2021, the average rate of change in telecommunications prices in Portugal was lower than in the European Union (-0.3 percentage points). The average variation rate of telecommunications prices over the last twelve months in Portugal was the 14th lowest (14th highest) among EU countries. The country that reported the largest increase in prices was Poland (+5.8%), while the largest reduction occurred in Denmark (-3.5%). The average of telecommunications prices in the EU was unchanged.
Prices have increased by 10.3% since the end of 2010
From a long-term perspective and in accumulated terms, telecommunications prices have increased by 10.3% since the end of 2010, while CPI has increased by 10.2%. Divergence between the two indexes, seen first in 2015 and increasing in 2016, is associated with the “price adjustments” applied by the principal providers. As of May 2019, the narrowing 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 on international calls and intra-EU SMS.
If it was not for the price reduction in intra-EU calls, it is estimated that telecommunications prices would have increased by 14.0% since the end of 2010 (3.7 percentage points above the variation in CPI over this period, in accumulated terms).
Between the end of 2009 and August 2021, telecommunications prices in Portugal increased by 8.4%, while in the EU they decreased by 9.7%. The difference narrowed with the entry into force of new European rules on 15 May 2019 regulating the prices of intra-EU communications. A finer comparative analysis shows that, between the end of 2009 and August 2021, telecommunications prices fell by 24.3% in the Netherlands and by 1.3% in Austria, while increasing by 8.4% in Portugal and 4.5% in Hungary.
Changes recorded in prices
Among the services/offers considered, the lowest monthly charges are offered by NOWO in seven cases out of a total of 13 services/offers; MEO reported the lowest monthly charges for four types of services/offers, NOS for two types of services/offers and Vodafone for one type of service/offer.
In year-on-year terms, there were 31 price increases and three decreases. The following price variations stand out:
- The lowest monthly charge for the Mobile Telephone Service with internet increased by 4.3%, due to discontinuation of NOWO's offer with a monthly charge of five euros;
- The lowest monthly charges for 4P offers increased by 8.3% due to discontinuation of NOWO's mobile telephone service option with a monthly charge of five euros, and 1.3% due to discontinuation of NOWO's TV option at 2.5 euros, making a total of 9.8%;
- The lowest monthly charge for 5P offers increased by 4.3%, as Vodafone discontinued its offer of a free first monthly charge of the basic service;
- The lowest monthly charges for FBB+STV (+11.1%), STV+FTS and 3P (+10.0%) offers increased following discontinuation of the TV option from NOWO at 2.5 euros. Additionally, the monthly charge for the STV+FTS offer increased by 77.6% with the discontinuation of an offer from NOS, making a total of 95.4%;
- The lowest monthly charge for STV increased by 30.8% with the discontinuation of an offer from NOS;
- The minimum monthly charge for Mobile Broadband via PC/Tablet increased by 4.3%, as MEO discontinued its offer of a free first monthly charge of the basic service:
In terms of provider, MEO reduced the minimum monthly charge for one service/offer in relation to June 2020 and increased the monthly fee for eight services/offers. The MEO service with a significant decrease in the monthly charge was the mobile telephone service offer with mobile phone Internet (UZO offer). NOS increased minimum monthly charges for eight services/offers and decreased the monthly charge for one offer (mobile telephone service with Internet on the mobile phone - WOO offer). Vodafone increased minimum monthly charges for seven services/offers and decreased the monthly charge for one offer (mobile internet broadband via PC/tablet). In turn, NOWO increased minimum monthly charges for eight services/offers.
There were notable increases in the monthly charges for 3P offers ("triple play") by MEO, NOS and Vodafone during October and November 2020 and in the monthly charges for 4P and 5P "quadruple and quintuple play" offers of MEO, NOS and Vodafone in May and June 2021.
Consult the statistical report:
- Trends in telecommunications prices - August 2021 https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1704845