Mobile operators can no longer reduce tariffs

image According to the Department of Information Technology (DIT) of Moscow, in 2016, the average expenses of Muscovites for cellular communications fell to 371 rubles per month. This is 11.4% less than in the previous year. However, by the end of the first quarter of 2017, costs increased again and reached the level of 2015, Vedomosti reports with reference to the report of the DIT on the analysis of operator tariffs and consumption profiles of services.

Representatives of the DIT note that costs have declined in 2015, but at a rather slow speed. Then they fell by no more than 4.3%. But in 2016 the drop was significant - the operators revised their tariffs, increasing the Internet traffic and voice communication included in them.

One of the main reasons for this situation is considered to be entering the Moscow market of Tele2 in 2015.

For two years, the price for downloading one megabyte of data (assuming complete exhaustion of the package) in the package tariffs of Moscow operators fell from 0.13 to 0.06 rubles. However, the price of voice communications over the same period increased from 0.41 to 0.44 rubles per minute, reports DIT.

According to AC & M Consulting, at the end of 2016 in Moscow there were just over 43 million active sim cards. By the beginning of 2017, Tele2 has connected 2.5 million subscribers in Moscow and the Moscow Region. So by the beginning of 2017, Tele2 was able to get about 5.8% of subscribers in the region.

Due to a sharp increase in subscriber traffic, the capacity of cellular networks has reached its limit, DIT analyst Yevgeny Alminov explained to Vedomosti. Operators began to abandon unlimited tariff plans, some of them began to raise prices and reduce the amount of traffic in packages. And users are thinking: how important is the price, and how much - the quality of communication?

In Moscow, Tele2 has never had unlimited tariffs, except for the Promotions “Moscow Speech”, where there were no restrictions on voice communications, its representative Konstantin Prokshin told Vedomosti. In connection with the launch of the new Tele2 tariff line in April of this year, he expects a further decrease in the average and specific cost of cellular services for residents of the Moscow region.

According to Prokshin, Tele2’s revenues in Moscow are growing due to a steady subscriber base set by the operator and an increase in service consumption. And the operator does not plan to raise tariffs.

A representative of MegaFon, Yulia Dorokhina, has her own view of the situation: “Muscovites' spending on mobile communications in 2016 was approximately at the level of 2015, there have not been significant changes since the beginning of 2017”.

In 2016, ARPU in Moscow did not decline so much, agrees VimpelCom representative Anna Aybasheva. According to her, the operator expects to increase its revenues through a new line of package tariffs.

According to the DIT, in 2016 the Moscow communications market increased by 2.8% and reached 874 billion rubles. Revenues are growing mainly due to additional services and packages with television, broadband access and cellular communication at a single rate, Alminov said.

In 2016, expenses of Muscovites decreased due to switching users to more favorable tariff offers and reducing the number of subscribers going abroad and using roaming, says MTS representative Dmitry Solodovnikov. But the revenues of operators in Moscow in 2017 could grow due to the continued growth in the number of mobile Internet users and revenues from new services and products.

In Russia, prices for communication services are traditionally among the lowest in the world. This is explained not only by currency fluctuations, but also by a high level of competition, which has only intensified. The specific cost of a gigabyte of Internet traffic in our country is also one of the lowest in the world, he concludes.


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