GENERICO.ruEconomicsA recalculation of cellular tariffs looms in Russia

A recalculation of cellular tariffs looms in Russia

The scandal with charging for Internet distribution exposed all the problems of the telecom market

Mobile communications in Russia may become more expensive. Only three Big Four operators will refuse to charge for Internet distribution. One of the companies emphasized that cancellation could provoke an increase in all tariffs. At the same time, the government plans to double the fee for mobile operators for using the entire radio frequency spectrum. Experts told MK how tariffs for the population will change and how much subscribers will have to pay.

The scandal with charging for Internet distribution exposed all the problems of the telecom market Photo: unsplash.com

An autumn storm has begun on the Russian telecom market. In September, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) said it had identified “signs of violations” in the introduction of fees for Internet distribution. As a result, all mobile operators except one agreed to stop charging consumers extra for the service. Meanwhile, one of the largest market players is convinced that free distribution of the Internet will provoke an increase in the price of all mobile tariffs.

At the same time, the government intends to index the fee for operators for the spectrum for fast LTE mobile Internet by 10 times. What will this mean for consumers?

According to Artem Deev, head of the analytical department at AMarkets, the government is looking for opportunities for adequate sources of revenue for the budget. That is why an initiative is being proposed to increase fees for operators when using the radio frequency spectrum.

“This measure is unlikely to lead to a significant increase in tariffs – yet we should not forget that for many years mobile operators have repeatedly threatened that The cost of communication in Russia will increase significantly. Nevertheless, our mobile communications remain one of the cheapest in the world,” he noted.

According to Deev, the subscriber pays the mobile operator monthly in accordance with his tariff and at the same time can distribute the Internet as he sees fit. This can be distributed to friends or to your own devices (tablet, for example).

Here the logic of additional money collection is unclear to the consumer. It turns out that the subscriber, even if he distributes the Internet to his device, will be required to pay again. And the FAS in this situation protects the interests of consumers, because operators charge increased fees for the service.

“Paying for Internet distribution is not the most popular option in the tariff plans of mobile operators in Russia. This option is not used everywhere, usually on the cheapest tariffs, so this is not a widespread problem – it affected only a small part of subscribers, says Ivan Samoilenko, managing partner of the communications agency B&C Agency. “And now this fee will be canceled for different operators at different times, but by the end of the year this practice will stop for three market participants.”

As for the decision to increase tariffs for the use of radio frequencies by operators, according to the interlocutor “MK” is only a small part of the costs that mobile communication companies have.

“Due to the departure of Western corporations from Russia and the imposed sanctions, operators have difficulty obtaining the necessary equipment (for repairing towers, replacing broken equipment), there is a law on storing user data, etc. Mobile operators' costs have increased significantly (according to various estimates, by 20-25%) over the past two years. Therefore, the tariff increase will be justified,” concludes Samoilenko.

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