The Czech Telecommunications Office (CTU) has published an updated analysis of the mobile data market on its website, based on which it wants to regulate the market. The reasons are high prices and the impossibility of competition from virtual mobile operators. Operators have until September 19th to comment on the analysis.
The analysis says, among other things, that the country’s position has deteriorated in international retail price comparisons.
“Retail prices for mobile services in the Czech Republic continue to be the highest in the EU. Although there is some decline in retail prices in the medium term, prices in other EU countries are falling faster than in the Czech Republic. This fact is also confirmed by the latest data and analysis from the European Commission,” the authorities said.
According to the study, mobile service prices in the Czech Republic are 150 percent higher than the EU average, with one GB of data costing 201 percent more.
The market analysis is to result in the fourth attempt to regulate the mobile market. The previous ones were opposed by the European Commission and the Competition Authority. The telecoms authority first proposed permanent regulation, later to be a temporary measure for a year and a half.
In its latest proposal, the CTU said it had considered the Commission’s comments, including its recent decision on network sharing between O2, Cetin, and T-Mobile. The regulator proposes to compel O2, T-Mobile, and Vodafone to allow virtual operators into their networks at regulated, capped prices.
The measure would be in place until the end of 2024, as the authorities do not foresee the arrival of another nationwide roaming operator on the networks of existing players before then.
There were almost 15 million active SIM cards in the Czech Republic at the end of last year. In addition to the three dominant players, 125 virtual operators operate in the market, leasing infrastructure from them. Their share is around 3.6 percent.