No change in telecommunication prices in April 2023

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

Compared with the same month last year, prices rose by 4.2%. This change in telecom prices was 1.5 percentage points (p.p.) lower than the change in the CPI (5.7%).

The average rate of change in telecom prices over the last twelve months was 2.1%, 6.5 p.p. lower than the CPI (8.6%).

On a subgroup basis, Eurostat reports that the average annual rate of change over the last twelve months in Portugal was 3.8% for bundled services and 0.7% for mobile phone services.

In April 2023, the average rate of change over the last twelve months of telecommunication prices was higher in Portugal than in the European Union (+1.7 p.p.). Portugal recorded the 9th highest price change (19th lowest) among EU countries. The largest price increase was in Poland (+6.0%), while the largest decrease was in the Netherlands (-3.8%). On average, telecommunication prices in the EU rose by 0.3%.

On a subgroup basis, the average rate of change over the last 12 months of prices for bundled services and mobile services in Portugal was 2.3 p.p. and 1.5 p.p. respectively above the EU average.

From a long-term perspective and in cumulative terms, telecom prices have increased by 17.2% since the end of 2010 while the CPI has increased by 25.1%. Between 2015 and 2019, the cumulative change in telecoms 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 telecom prices would have increased by 21.1% since the end of 2010, being cumulatively 4.1 p.p. below the change in the CPI over this period.

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

Between the end of 2009 and April 2023, telecom prices in Portugal increased by 15.1%, while in the EU they decreased by 8.1%. A more detailed comparative analysis shows that between the end of 2009 and April 2023, telecom prices fell by 23.1%, 16.4% and 5.4% in France, Italy and Spain respectively.

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 32 services/offers with price increases and six with price decreases. The most notable price changes were as follows:

  • The PTV minimum monthly charge increased by 7.6% after NOS discontinued its PTV single-play offers. In April 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 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 fee of the 5P offer increased by 6.3% due to the increase in the monthly fee of Vodafone’s Fibre 4 Light offer in February 2023.

Compared to the same month last year, and on a provider basis, MEO increased the monthly charge for seven services/offers, while NOS increased the monthly charge for ten services/offers. Vodafone increased the minimum monthly charge for all 13 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.

The ITU publishes the ICT Price Basket every year to measure the cost and affordability of four mobile service usage profiles and one fixed broadband usage profile.

In terms of the proportion of the monthly average of the gross national income per capita (GNI p.c.), the prices charged in Portugal in 2022 ranked between 1st  and 7th among the least affordable in the EU27 ranking, being between 0.12 p.p. and 0.44 p.p. above the EU27 average.

Consult the statistical report: