Mobile Services In the Czech Republic Among EU's Most Expensive

Italian customers from the local service provider Iliad obtained a tariff of 204 Kč (€7.99) in addition to unlimited calling and texting they also have 50GB of mobile Internet. 

The price of this package includes a one-time activation fee of 255Kč, but even so, the offer Iliad provides is more favourable than comparable packages provided by Czech operators. 

Domestically used company T-Mobile for example, in order to have an unlimited plan with 60GB, requires 2,499Kč, which is six times more than the Iliad offer.  

Lliad only expanded on the Italian market last May and has already kick-started a price evolution. So much so from June to September last year, the traditional network leaders of the market which includes Vodafone, Wind and Tre operator,  were the competitors to react quickly. According to Wired.it prices throughout the market had declined by 20% and the three companies launched a campaign seeking to lure its customers back from lliad. Vodafone launched a low-cost sub-network named Vodafone-mobile  offering an unlimited plan with 50GB for 153Kč (plus an activation fee of 255 Kč)

The cheapening pressure of price battles was not only being engaged in Italy but across Europe too. In France, there is virtual mobile operator Ken. The company is known under the brand name Free Mobile originally provided only for fixed internet households in early 2012 but has also spread to the French mobile market, which added operators Orange, SFR and Bouygues Télécom. As in Italy, the fourth challenger succeeded lower prices, after only two years as a trio of competitors took over 7.5 million clients. ‘Free’ currently offers an unlimited plan of 50GB at a price of 230 Kč (€8.99), which when compared to the rest of the market, is the best. 

The same can be said about Romania and Poland, where the fourth operator ‘Play’ quickly rose to the position of the second largest company on the market that offers must plan with 10 GB of data in less than 300 Kč. 

A similar trend is also seen in Belgium, which is comparable with the Czech Republic in the size of the mobile market and the price of mobile services. Czechs and Belgians for the mobile Internet, are similar in that the market is dominated by a trio of big operators. 

The only chance the fourth operator has to enter the market is based on the auction of mobile frequencies to be auctioned in each state about once every five years. Across Europe, the wave of such auctions has taken off especially in connection with the planned construction of new mobile network the fifth-generation (5G). Czech Telecommunication Office has announced that it plans to hold an auction in the second half of this year. 

The local telecommunications authority, therefore, decided that the upcoming mobile auction creates space for the fourth challenger. 

“Based on the experience of other European countries, we see that prices for mobile services with the debut of a fourth player fall, and at an early stage…” says Van Bellinghen.

It helps to add that with the arrival of a fourth operator in France, prices of mobile services on the local market fell in the first year by 27%. In the Netherlands, in turn, the pressure of a fourth operator between 2012 and 2018  saw a price reduction of up to 51%.

Author: Lilato Madiri

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