The Czech mobile phone market may soon experience major changes

The Czech Telecommunications Office (ČTÚ) has prepared a proposal to regulate the Czech mobile phone market, the news site reported on Monday.

In its analysis, the regulator argues that prices for retail mobile services, particularly for mobile data, are disproportionately higher than the EU average; collusion and high wholesale prices (even higher than retail prices) prevent virtual operators from offering competitive prices.

According to the CTU, a new and fourth national operator, will not enter the market until the end of 2024. theoretical possibility of their integration into a single SIM, do not allow the replication of tariffs for MVNOs”, admits the CTU .

The Czech mobile operator market is currently made up of three main providers: O2, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

The Office therefore proposes again to regulate the wholesale market, including the possibility of directly setting maximum prices for the services that network operators sell to virtual machines.

This is CTU’s third attempt to regulate the mobile market in a short period of time. The first analysis was rejected by the European Commission in February this year.

The Authority published a second proposal in which it tried to circumvent the Commission in a non-standard way. For this, he deserved a warning against a possible official procedure for violation of European law. In the end, the Czech Antimonopoly Office did not support the analysis, and subsequently the CTU Board itself rejected it.

The Czech Republic has among the most expensive mobile tariffs

Czechs pay significantly more than the majority of EU countries, according to a 2018 European Commission analysis. The average EU customer spends around 33 euros for 20 GB of data, while Czechs would have to pay almost 55 euros for the same amount. A 2017 study by the organization found that mobile prices in the Czech Republic were on average 79% higher than the EU average.

To put it bluntly, mobile tariffs in the Czech Republic are among the most expensive in the EU, along with countries like Hungary or Greece.

According to some analysts, many Czech mobile customers actually pay lower rates by negotiating and receiving special offers and customer discounts. However, no one can say how many people can benefit from such offers.

Casey J. Nelson