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774% difference in phone call prices across the EU, UK prices slightly above EU average
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Mobile users across the European Union face huge price differences for the same services. The biggest price difference is in domestic mobile calls – a 774% difference between Lithuania, the cheapest country, and Netherlands, the most expensive. Users in the UK pay above the EU average – 8.4 pence on average (Euro cents 9.7) compared to 7.9 pence (9.1 Euro cents). This is more expensive than countries like Italy, Sweden or Germany, but cheaper than in France, Spain, Luxemburg or the Netherlands. UK mobile users also pay a premium for international mobile calls. For example, Vodafone charges its UK clients more than twice the price it offers to subscribers in Portugal.

    774% difference in phone call prices across the EU, UK prices slightly above EU average

    These price differences cannot be explained by differences in quality, differences in the cost to provide the service, or by differences between countries in consumer purchasing power.

    European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said: "As these numbers clearly show, the 28 national telecoms markets in Europe today are not benefitting consumers like a single market would. It is critical for the whole EU to move quickly to build a real single market to achieve a truly connected continent." 

    Average cost per minute (in € cents) in mobile communications


    There are much smaller price differentials in other categories of basic goods and services in the European single market. For example a litre of milk can generally be bought for between GBP 0.60 (Euro 0.69) and GBP 0.86 (Euro 0.99) wherever sold in the EU, a price difference of 43%. An occasional purchase like an iPad is subject to only an 11% price difference across the EU.



    In September, Vice President Neelie Kroes will present a new package aimed at strengthening the Telecoms single market.


    For more examples or to arrange interviews, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.
    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.

    Last update: 20/08/2013  |Top