The Norwegian telecom giants earn a raw profit on customers who pay far more than they have to.
How much should you actually pay for your mobile subscription?
Nettavisen’s review of pricing for private clients shows that prices differ more than you think: Telenor’s cheapest subscription costs, for example, NOK 249, and it gives you 1 GB including data traffic per month.
At the small mobile operator Happybytes you get the same amount of data traffic Day of the week Offered by Telenor for a whole month at a lower price.
– There is no doubt that its margins are artificially high. With a profit margin of more than 40 percent, it’s far higher than what any other similar telecom company operates at, Happybytes CEO Thomas Sandaker tells Nettavisen.
Sandaker is a veteran of the Norwegian mobile phone industry, and among others he was involved in building One Call. He now leads the company that ranks number one in the price comparison service of Tek.no.
And since Telenor requires you to pay 49 øre for each time you use BankID, almost all other operators in Norway have this free service. BankID is used for a growing number of tasks, from kindergarten messaging services for parents, via Corona Certificate – to banking and ticket payment on public transport.
Big difference in prices
Prices in the mobile market are now clearer than ever, with almost all subscriptions now including free use of voice calls and SMS.
What sets subscriptions apart is the amount of data traffic included in the subscription. If you choose the right subscription, you do not have to think too much about additional services.
Despite this, there are very large differences in prices. Telecom giants Telia and Telenor generally enjoy much higher prices than their competitors. It’s also significantly higher than prices for Ice, which is building Norway’s third mobile network.
If you use little data traffic, the overview shows you’ll get more than half of your mobile bill by choosing Fjordkraft, rather than the big two.
If you use a lot of data transmission, it will be better to provide kroner and øre.
* The Happybytes subscription is marketed for 248 kroner at 30 GB per month, but with a daily limit of 1 GB.
Expands 5G Network Fast – Restricts Speed
As you can see from the pricing overview above, Telenor and Telia both have several different prices for free data. The reason is that the two companies are starting to differentiate the download speed you get when ordering free computer use. This is happening at the same time they are expanding the 5G network where higher speeds are the biggest argument.
All subscriptions are limited to 3Mbps if you use more than 100GB per month.
Ice, for its part, offers free data as an add-on for all of its subscriptions, but it has slightly different limitations:
Ice uses the Telia network as they have not developed a network. You will only get unlimited data if you use the private Ice base stations. They now claim that 95 percent of the population is covered by their own network.
Very high margins
In December last year The government received a report Who analyzed prices in the mobile phone market in the Nordic countries.
The report concludes that Norwegian customers pay higher mobile phone bills, receive less data traffic, and dairy cows are larger than those in our neighboring countries. At the same time, they denied that this was due to the spread of the population and the difficulty of the terrain:
– The report states that Telenor and Telia Norway have the highest operating margin in the Nordic region.
Analysts conclude that the root cause of the price hikes in Norway is the size of the big operators, along with the fact that Norwegians are less concerned about price.
Other factors are not likely to play any role at all, the report says.
Among other things, Telenor in Sweden offers about ten times more data for the same price as its cheapest subscription in Norway.
Switching between mobile operators is very easy, but the new SIM requires, among other things, that you must activate BankID again. It can be annoying if you don’t have a coding chip, depending on which bank you have.
Among the cheap companies, a high willingness to pay, as well as a reluctance to take on the task of changing SIM cards, was emphasized as a major reason why people continued to pay more than they needed.
Loyal customers don’t think there are price differences
The Consumer Council reports that the majority of Norwegian customers are not willing to switch:
– We did a survey this summer. The survey shows that consumers are quite loyal to the mobile market. Half of those surveyed said it had been at least two years since the last change, and only 1 in 5 said they were considering changing subscriptions. We also asked why they wouldn’t consider switching. Andreas Strandskog, a policy advisor at the Consumer Council, says most people report there is little or nothing to save on the switch.
Telenor: – Most of them care about quality, coverage and speed
According to Telenor Director of Communications Anders Krokan, the company’s customers are not only interested in price:
– Our surveys show that many customers in Norway are more interested in quality, coverage and speed, as well as quality and service, although price also plays a role. In addition to price competition, there is a high degree of competition for the quality of services and the network. According to Nkom figures, there has not been as much investment in telecom infrastructure in Norway as there is now, says Krokan.
Telenor’s Director of Communications confirms that building infrastructure in Norway is more expensive than in our neighboring countries.
He also believes that the comparison should deal with more than data:
– Not only data is included in our subscriptions, but many other services that customers request. He notes that subscriptions from Telenor include MinSky, Nettvern, Nettslett and SeHvem and there is no tethering.
Telia: – We offer discounts
Telia, for its part, is concerned that its listing prices are not necessarily what customers pay:
– We offer family discounts on all subscriptions (249 NOK per additional subscription on GB subscriptions, 399 NOK on Telia X), and those who collect more services with us get free data, extra TV points, etc., says Information Manager Elaine Cecily Sheen and Telia.
Telia also emphasizes the quality of its own network, that expanding into Norway is expensive – and that Norwegians are very concerned about quality.
Prices are determined by the market and must be seen in the bigger picture. On average, our customers pay around NOK 250 per month for their mobile subscription, the same amount we pay for an NRK license per month and the equivalent of 5-6 coffee lattes at Kaffebrenniet per month. If we compare other typical monthly subscriptions, such as the subscription to a fitness center, the mobile subscription comes in well.
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