Prices for telephony and broadband falling more slowly

24/11/2009

In the 2000s, consumers have experienced steadily falling prices for telephony and broadband. Prices are still dropping, but at a lower pace than at the beginning of the decade, according to the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency's (PTS) price report.

Between 30 June 2008 and 30 June 2009, the monthly cost of the most inexpensive offering for mobile telephony dropped by 5 per cent for an average user, and by 2 per cent for a major user.

For some consumers, however, prices are still falling sharply. Within mobile telephony, the monthly cost for a user who sends a large number of text messages has dropped by a full 29 per cent. Within fixed telephony, the monthly cost has dropped by 19 per cent for users who make a large number of calls to mobile telephones. What's more, the monthly cost for an average user of mobile broadband has dropped by 16 per cent.

PTS's price report also shows that the lowest prices offered for fixed broadband are substantially below the average price nationally in areas with a high level of fibre network coverage and where several suppliers compete for end users. On the other hand, the lowest price offered is higher than the average price nationally in areas where only one service provider offers fixed broadband subscriptions.

Difficult price calculations and comparisons

PTS has also observed that it is still difficult for consumers to calculate and compare prices of different offers. For this reason, PTS will continue to develop the price comparison tool called 'Telepriskollen' (www.telepriskollen.se - only in Swedish). This tool now also enables consumers to compare bundled subscriptions and charges that are difficult for consumers to take into account (known as 'hidden charges'). PTS has also drawn up general advice (link) on how telecom operators ought to provide clear price information for mobile telephony. This advice entered into force on 1 November 2009.

The price report

PTS tracks cost trends both for an average user and for several kinds of typical user. Appendix 1 of this report and statistik.pts.se describe these typical users.

The price report describes price trends for different kinds of electronic communications services for consumers. The report is also available in a web version at statistik.pts.se, which is the overall portal to PTS's statistics.

For further information, please contact:

Mattias Viklund, head of Market Analysis, tel. 073-066 57 11 or PTS's Press Office 08-678 55 55.

The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) monitors the electronic communications and postal sectors in Sweden. The term ‘electronic communications’ includes telephony, the Internet and radio. The Agency works with consumer and competition issues, efficient utilisation of resources and secure communications. Read more at www.pts.se.