European commission’s report on mobile national calls across the EU
According to data from the digital agenda or Europe scoreboard, Neelie Kroes gave her opinion about the difference between countries concerning average pricing of the minute of national calls. If you live in the Netherlands, you will pay on average 773 % more than if you live in Lithuania. Of course, there are different life levels, but such a difference can’t only be explained by the average revenue in these countries.
This report shows as well that concerning international calls, the situation isn’t the same. Contrary to data roaming, some countries seen as mobile expensive, are fighting against this image through international calls.
you can find these data in the digital agenda for Europe’s website in the digital scoreboard charts. You can choose which country you want to compare, focus on one specific, choose different indicators…
The most profitable average revenue per user (ARPU) is in France. A mobile services company earns approximatively 300 euros in this country whereas the EU average is around 200 euros. Moreover, France is one of the biggest markets with more than 55 million users in 2009, just before Germany, Italy and the UK.
Yet, it isn’t sure that they are the most profitable companies. Indeed, even if french mobile operators have a high ARPU, the differences between countries in terms of landscape and natural barriers imply a different cost for infrastructure. Indeed, when you have the duty to provide a service for every citizen in a country, you will have to spend much money to install the necessary infrastructure when the region is highly elevated.
That’s why, we could think that the price difference between countries depends on :
– the number of users,
– the cost of infrastructure settlement,
– and the different life levels
Actually, all these aspects can not explain these differences. As an example, the Netherlands is quite flat and doesn’t have any mountains. They still aren’t the smallest country in terms of population and the cost of infrastructure may not be high because of the geography. Of course the availability of different technologies (LTE, UMTS…) may impact the final price either.
If we want to have a relevant indicator, we could take these three criteria with the ARPU and the geographical profile of the different countries, so you could have an indicator that is relevant in terms of competitiveness between counties. Technologies shouldn’t be taken into account given that countries have approximatively the same goals thanks to objectives given by the digital agenda for Europe. Plus, most of the population don’t use the latest technologies available yet, such as LTE.
Even if the report isn’t taking some higher costs into account, it doesn’t mean that Europe has to react against this large difference, but may take more criteria into account to have an objective vision of the situation.