Tariff Consultancy has released an interesting new report on Mobile Broadband Pricing – an analysis of current mobile broadband pricing in 33 countries across Eastern and Western Europe. There are some interesting, yet not completely surprising, findings from the report:
- The average flat rate package bundle provided has doubled over the last 12 months to almost 4GB (based on the analysis of 100 mobile operators). The most common monthly user allowance price point on offer across Europe is now 5GB and 10GB, closely followed by 1GB and 500MB allowances.
- Pricing in 2008 has fallen by an average of 4% across all countries when compared with the previous year – even though average user allowances have more than doubled. In some countries, mobile broadband pricing has fallen even steeper – as much as 53%, 43% and 35% in Latvia, Austria and the UK respectively over the past year.
- In Ireland, Germany, Sweden and Spain average mobile broadband prices are now significantly lower than the most popular fixed line DSL broadband service, which is driving customers to the mobile broadband offer. I have pointed out this phenomenon earlier in here and here. Ireland and Sweden have always been mobile broadband leaders. Looks like Spain and Germany are following their lead as well.
The most striking feature has been the continued increase in monthly user allowances which have more than doubled last year while pricing has continued to decline. The implication is that the Euro/MB has fallen by more than half – not a very good sign for the operators. Clearly, the key challenge for the operators is to translate the explosion in user growth into profitability. The report also finds that flexible tariff structures that allow for per day and per week pricing (also called pay-as-you-go plans such as O2’s recent offerings) are now available in the market place.