Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Movistar Spain to Start Charging for Excess Data

Spanish mobile operator Movistar will begin charging customers who exceed their monthly data allowances. Starting on 27 May, the operator will charge €0.015 (US $0.015) per additional 1 MB of data used by customers above their monthly limit, up to a maximum of 500 MB. Once the 500 MB of additional data is reached, the speed will be reduced.
Movistar was one of the last Spanish operators to continue throttling internet speeds when its subscribers reached their monthly data allowance rather than charging them for additional access. Vodafone Spain, one of Movistar’s competitors, charges €2.00 (US $2.12) for each additional 200 MB used, while Orange, third major player on the Spanish market, prices 100 MB of additional data at €1.00 (US $1.06). According to recent reports, mobile data usage in Spain increased by 72 percent over the last 12 months, mainly caused by the expansion of 4G/LTE networks and the growing popularity of mobile apps and OTT services. Reports indicate that around 83 percent of smartphone users use WhatsApp and other instant messaging apps at least once a week, significantly more than subscribers in other European countries including the Netherlands (67 percent), Germany (43 percent), Portugal (34 percent), the U.K. (30 percent), Belgium (20 percent) and France (15 percent). Given the popularity of data-heavy services, mobile data has a large impact on operators’ revenue, so Movistar’s decision to start charging for excess data is likely to be a good one, financially speaking.

The above item appeared in a recent issue of The Tarifica Alert, a weekly resource that analyzes noteworthy developments in the telecoms industry from around the world. To access all of the latest articles and issues or to speak with the research team: Click here.

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