Press Release

West Europe mobile prices trend lower in Q1, more data, roaming included

Houten, The Netherlands, 21 April 2016 - The total cost of a mobile plan showed a general decline in most countries in Western Europe in Q1 2016, while including often more data and services such as roaming, according to the latest Telecompaper research. In a survey of advertised prices in 16 countries, the Telecompaper EU Benchmark report shows postpaid prices trended lower in most countries compared to six months previously, both for plans including a high-end handset and for SIM-only plans.

With the rising smartphone penetration in all European countries, data has become more important in the operators’ propositions. In most countries - 12 out of 16 – there was an increase in the share of plans offering more than 2GB per month. Nevertheless, the differences between the various countries remain large. For example in Denmark and Finland, more than 90 percent of the plans on offer come with more than 2GB per month, whereas in Greece and Portugal only 15 and 10 percent of the plans respectively include more than 2GB. Across all 16 countries and brands, 36 percent of the SIM-only plans had more than 2GB, while this was 47 percent of all plans including high-end handset. 

In addition to looking at the total cost of mobile postpaid plans, the report assesses some of the most common value-added services included. The latest survey shows an increasing number of operators including (some) free roaming in the EU, ahead of the next cut in regulated prices 30 April. Over a fifth (22%) of plans included EU usage/roaming, up from 17 percent in Q3 2015. Plans including roaming were available in all 16 countries, and increasingly in Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK, but they tended to be plans with a higher monthly fee. 

For the total cost of mobile communications, Denmark, Finland and Norway remain the cheapest, and France, Italy and Sweden were mostly cheap countries in Q1 2016. Greece and Portugal continue to be the most expensive, although Portugal has become somewhat cheaper. Finland and the UK also became cheaper compared to Q3 2015, and the UK particularly in the high-end comparison. Austria belongs to the cheap countries in the smartphone comparison while prices were more variable in the SIM-only segment. The remaining countries – Belgium, Germany, Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands and Switzerland - displayed a mixed performance, with prices sometimes cheaper or more expensive than the TP-16 median TCO, depending on the type of plan.

In total, almost 1,700 postpaid plans were on offer in Q1 2016, about 10 percent more than during the previous survey in Q3 2015. This is mainly due to more plans in Germany, Finland and Italy, while Portugal and Switzerland showed fewer plans.

Note to editors

The EU Mobile Benchmark 2016 Q1 report provides a detailed comparison of mobile pricing across Europe. The report provides data and analysis of the high-end smartphone and Sim-only service plan choices. The full report is available for business users for EUR 4,900. Corporate users pay EUR 6,900, which includes the pricing database and plan details. To allow readers a closer look at the data, our pricing database is available for purchase separately, costing EUR 3,300.


Telecompaper is a respected, independent market researcher and news agency focusing on the national and international Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) sector. Telecompaper provides its customers with information, insight, analysis and news. National and international businesses, organisations and government bodies use our information to make decisions across all organisational levels and to help develop their policies. For more information, please visit our website at: www.telecompaper.com.


Marion ter Welle
Phone: +31 30 6349600
Email: marion@telecompaper.com

Categories: Mobile
Countries: Europe