The state of 4G pricing – 1H2018 – Digital Fuel Monitor 9th release
May 2018

How many 4G gigabytes €5, €10, €15, €20, €25, €30, €40, €50, €60, €70 and €80 could buy in EU and OECD markets on smartphone and data-only plans. What a difference a 4th mobile network operator makes!

Unlimited mobile data
  • After a comeback in 2016 unlimited 4G mobile data is here to stay
  • Unlimited mobile broadband plans for fixed-to-mobile home broadband substitution (FMS) are now available for less than €30 in nine markets and for less than €20 in eight markets (including Switzerland!, Poland, Finland)
How many gigabytes €30 buys in 4G smartphone plans
  • In April 2018 in half of all 28 EU markets €30 bought consumers 100 or unlimited gigabytes
  • In all EU28 & OECD markets, except Norway, €30 bought more gigabytes in April 2018 than in November 2017
4 versus 3 MNO markets
  • In EU28 & OECD markets with 4 MNOs consumers could buy in average 3 times more gigabytes for €20 and nearly 2 times more for €30 compared to markets with 3 MNOs
  • In the German and Austrian 4 to 3 consolidated mobile markets consumers must pay 4 and 3 times more respectively to buy 50 gigabytes than in the 4-MNO French market
How many gigabytes €30 buys in 4G mobile broadband or stationary (fixed-wireless) plans?
  • Unlimited mobile broadband plans for fixed-to-mobile home broadband substitution (FMS) are now available for less than €30 in nine markets and for less than €20 in eight markets (including Switzerland!, Poland, Finland)
  • In April 2018 in 9 out of 28 EU markets €30 bought consumers 500 or unlimited gigabytes
  • A mobile-only operator from a challenger European group sells an affordable (less than €30) 4G unlimited mobile broadband plan for fixed-to-mobile broadband substitution packed with 1 terabyte (1,000 gigabytes)
Fully allocated gigabyte prices in 4G smartphone plans
  • The EU28 median fully allocated gigabyte price fell from €2.4/GB in November 2017 to €2.3 GB in April 2018
  • The OECD median fully allocated gigabyte price fell from €3.3/GB in November 2017 to €2.9 GB in April 2018
  • The country median gigabyte prices in Korea, Canada, United States, Germany and Japan continue to be a universe apart compared to the country median price (€0.8/GB) of the competitive 4-MNO French market
Fully allocated gigabyte price in 4G mobile broadband or stationary (fixed-wireless) plans
  • The EU28 median fully allocated gigabyte price fell from €1.0/GB in November 2017 to €0.84 GB in April 2018
  • The OECD median fully allocated gigabyte price fell from €1.2/GB in November 2017 to €1.1 GB in April 2018
  • In Canada and the United States operators continue to charge exorbitant mobile broadband gigabyte prices
The OECD methodology is flawed and the OECD mobile baskets are no longer fit for purpose
  • The OECD methodology is flawed. The European Commission measures only the higher priced plans offered by incumbent operators by using the outdated OECD mobile baskets that have tiny data volume allowances (250 megabytes to 5 gigabytes for handset plans) while completely ignoring the lower priced plans (with very large or unlimited gigabyte allowances) that the challenger no.4 and some no.3 operators sell
  • In 21 and 30 out of 41 countries €10 and €20 respectively buys a 4G smartphone plan with at least 1,000 minutes!
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