Operators did not follow the regulator’s recommendation and raised telecommunications prices. In response, ANACOM proposes to the Government to change loyalty.
MEO and NOS prices increase by 7.8% as of today, February 1st. Vodafone, in turn, updates its price list in March.
The National Communications Authority (ANACOM) considers these increases “unjustified” and recalls that, in October 2022, it recommended operators to assess the impact of their pricing policies, since families “are facing an increase in the cost of unprecedented in recent history”. At the time, the regulator recalled that Portugal has prices for communications services higher than the European Union average.
The recommendation, however, was not followed by the three main operators, with the exception of Nowo.
Therefore, and in response to these increases, ANACOM proposed to the Government to reduction of the loyalty period to 6 months (as opposed to the current 24 months). In this scenario, considers the regulator, it is urgent to adopt measures that reinforce competition, and the reduction of the loyalty period is one of them.
In an interview with Lusa, the president of ANACOM said that, “in the competitive market, what should happen is “consumer mobility for offers with lower prices.” However, in Portugal the scenario is different, he said. “The loyalty period practiced, of 24 months, prevents this mobility.”
In that sense, the regulator proposes this legislative amendment. “We consider this amendment to the law urgent and a priority”, he stressed, adding that he hopes that “the Government will consider the pertinence and urgency of this amendment”, defending that “we cannot have Portugal at the tail end of Europe with higher prices” in communications .
It is now up to the Government to respond, even if the regulator anticipates great resistance from operators.