The biggest telecom providers in Croatia, Hrvatski Telekom, A1 Croatia, and Telemach Croatia, have decided to raise the rates of various aspects of their services beginning July 1, 2022. As things currently stand, this primarily relates to mobile services.
This decision was only a matter of time because telco executives have been complaining for a while – at various conferences and panels where telecoms presented the achievements of modern technology, such as the new generation of mobile 5G networks or the upcoming metaverse – about the inflationary pressure they are facing, especially regarding the rising price of electricity.
As there is competition, the market is regulated, and consumer protection is vital, telecoms are not in a position to play around with customers and their trust. As a result, they frequently provide an add-on in the form of a new service or higher data traffic in the case of a tariff increase or the introduction of new costs, while always offering customers the opportunity to cancel their subscription.
So, all operators have reported an increase in the prices of some of their services to HAKOM. The Croatian regulatory body stressed that it has no right to influence the prices of services in mobile networks: “Each mobile operator determines the tariffs separately, in accordance with its business policy, and how high the price will be is a matter of business judgment for each of them. The increase is achievable as a result of the operator’s business decision and/or the inclusion of new traffic to the tariff or the introduction/change of service.”
All that’s left for consumers to do is carefully examine the subscription prices and what they presently include, writes Croatian newspaper Večernji list.
For example, users of the A1 Homebox service were notified of a HRK 20 (almost $3) price increase. The telco explains this by enhancing the service and making the internet more stable in larger quantities. These improvements reportedly require an increase in investment, and due to the market situation and rising energy prices, operating costs have further increased, necessitating an increase in prices, which was, unfortunately, unavoidable in this case. According to A1’s official notice, the user has the option to terminate their contract free of charge until June 30, 2022.
Since the beginning of July, Telemach has been raising the prices of mobile subscriber bundles that have been available for activation since March 2021. They state that despite market disruptions caused by the pandemic and closing down the economy, their prices have not changed in the last two years, but “from July 1, 2022, our most popular mobile packages will include new services and a monthly increase by HRK 3-8 (VAT included). All other mobile packages, as well as mobile internet services, will see a similar hike in subscription price. Thus, the average increase rate equals 3.95 percent, well below the inflation rate, ensuring that the most generous and cost-effective offer on the market is maintained.”
As reported by the Croatian news agency HINA, in the light of the economic developments since June 1, Hrvatski Telekom has made minor price changes in its mobile services portfolio, while at the same time providing customers with more gigabytes of data traffic and access to the 5G network in all new tariffs for private customers. HT, however, is yet to reveal how much the price of these mobile services has increased, but points to check its official website for more information.
Given present tariffs and price discrepancies between telecoms, it remains to be seen which services will be impacted and how much more expensive they may become.