Telecom prices rose 7.7% in Portugal while in the EU they fell 10%

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The communications regulator on Wednesday considered “unjustified” the increase in prices by the three main operators and defended the reduction of the maximum period of loyalty of two years to six months, to bring prices down. ANACOM also justifies with the fact that telecom prices in Portugal have increased 7.7%, while in the EU they have decreased 10%, between 2009 and 2022.

In a press conference in Lisbon, Anacom’s president, João Cadete de Matos, considered the price increase announced by Meo, Nos and Vodafone “unjustified”, stating that there is a large divergence of prices in Portugal compared to other European countries and argued that to overcome this, “one of the most urgent options is the reduction of the loyalty period”, so that consumers can analyze offers from other operators and negotiate alternatives.

The president of the regulator of the communications sector also said that in Portugal there is a “convergence of commercial strategies of operators”, which does not promote competition, and said that the period of loyalty of two years also hinders the entry of new operators by the difficulty in attracting customers.

The responsible affirmed that there is an “illusion that loyalty periods represent a discount” in comparison to a contract without loyalty periods because they hold the client for two years, preventing him from changing and improving the prices paid.

“Today a customer who was not loyal could benefit from the competitive strategy of [Nowo],” he exemplified.

Route contrary to that of the EU

According to Anacom, between the end of 2009 and December 2022, telecom prices in Portugal increased 7.7%, while in the EU they decreased 10%.

Cadete de Matos also said that service packages make prices more expensive, leading customers to have services they usually don’t want, such as fixed telephone.

Telecom operators Meo (Altice Portugal), NOS and Vodafone Portugal have announced increases in the price of their services of up to 7.8%, the first two starting in February and the last one in March.

In reaction, the government said it was monitoring the situation and that it “requested Anacom information, including information on consumer rights in relation to existing contracts, their possible cancellation and information provided by companies.

In October last year, the telecom regulator issued a recommendation to operators for a moderation in the increases to be applied this year, but only Nowo decided to welcome the recommendation. This operator has a market share of 2% to 3%.

MEO, Nos and Vidafone have market shares between 96% and 97% depending on the type of service.

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