Broadband and telecom

Mobile phone calls lowest in Finland, Netherlands and Sweden, says OECD report


11/08/2009 - Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden have the lowest prices for mobile phone calls among OECD countries, according to the latest OECD Communications Outlook. The highest were found in Canada, Spain and the United States.


Comparing prices on a medium-use basis for a package of 780 voice calls, 600 short texts (SMS), and eight multimedia (MMS) messages, the survey found monthly prices ranged from 11 to 53 US dollars across countries as of August 2008.


The OECD Communications Outlook compares domestic prices across countries for low-, medium- and high-use mobile phone users.  The following tables show annual prices in US dollars broken down by fixed subscription costs, calls and messages:


• Low use (360 calls per year of voice calls, 396 SMS; eight MMS):
• Medium use:
• High use (1680 calls per year of voice calls: 660 SMS; 12 MMS):


The OECD Communications Outlook says between 2006 and 2008 mobile phone call prices fell on average by 21% for low usage consumers, 28% for medium usage and by 32% for subscribers with the highest consumption patterns.


The report adds that text messaging continues to be a particularly lucrative market for operators and that recent marketing developments are increasingly offering SMS-based packages targeted at young subscribers.


The Communications Outlook says the share of telecommunications sector revenue from mobile phone use had reached 41% in OECD countries by 2008. The decline in operators’ revenue from fixed telephone lines has, however, been slowed by the expansion of high-speed broadband Internet as subscribers usually keep a fixed line to receive the service.


It adds that the agility shown by those telecommunication companies which survived the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000 is again serving them well in the current global downturn. Revenues continue to grow while capital investment is being reduced.


Journalists can obtain a copy of the OECD Communications Outlook from Sara Sreberny-Mohammadi at the OECD’s media division (tel + 331 4524 9700). The Outlook is also available on the protected site for journalists.


Further information about the Communications Outlook can be found at or from Taylor Reynolds of the Telecommunications and Internet Policy division of the OECD (tel + 331 4524 9384). The methodology for the mobile price calculations (pdf) is also available.


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