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Have you noticed the price of your mobile plan increasing?

  • June 22 2021
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Have you noticed the price of your mobile plan increasing?

By Cameron Micallef
June 22 2021

The consumer watchdog has revealed that the three main telecommunication providers have recently raised prices, meaning millions of Australians are now paying more for mobile services.

price of your mobile plan increasing

Have you noticed the price of your mobile plan increasing?

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  • June 22 2021
  • Share

The consumer watchdog has revealed that the three main telecommunication providers have recently raised prices, meaning millions of Australians are now paying more for mobile services.

price of your mobile plan increasing

According to a study released by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), since July 2020 Telstra, Optus and Vodafone have increased the price of several postpaid plans and effectively increased the price of a range of prepaid plans by reducing their expiry periods, which in turn forces Aussies to recharge more often.

During the past 12 months, Telstra increased its postpaid mobile plan prices by between $5 and $15 per month.

However, the telco has also reduced the recharge expiry on 35- and 42-day prepaid plans to 28 days, which effectively equates to a price increase of between 25 per cent and 50 per cent over a year.

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In May, Optus raised the price of all of its postpaid plans by $6 per month, which is an increase of between 8 per cent and 15 per cent. There has been no increase, however, in the cost of Optus’s prepaid plans.

Vodafone’s postpaid plans have also gone up by between $5 and $40 a month. However, the increases are currently accompanied by heavy discounting and temporary bonus inclusions.

Combined, the three main telcos hold 87 per cent of the total retail market and have more than 95 per cent of the postpaid market.

ACCC chair Rod Sims highlighted the concentration issue, with providers happy to spike up fees due to a lack of competition.

“Our analysis shows that consumers will now be left paying significantly more for a range of mobile phone plans at Telstra, Optus and Vodafone,” Mr Sims said.

“The behaviour of the three big telcos would suggest they are not concerned about losing customers to rivals.”

These mobile price increases follow the merger of TPG and Vodafone in 2020.

“The ACCC opposed the merger of TPG and Vodafone because we were concerned it would lead to higher mobile prices and result in three similar providers with little incentive to compete strongly,” Mr Sims said.

“Despite evidence showing the three mobile network owners reacted strongly to the potential competitive threat of a new TPG network, the court considered that the merger would be pro-competitive, allowing Vodafone to compete more effectively against Telstra and Optus.”

The ACCC noted that small providers offer cheaper alternatives for consumers. Although their plans usually don’t include extras such as access to content, their voice calls, SMS and data packages are similar to those offered by the three networks operators.

Mr Sims also urged consumers to try and find the best deal possible for their circumstances.

“Before changing over, we encourage consumers to compare different providers’ geographic coverage, and consider their individual needs, as not all providers offer the same coverage.”

“There are still ways to find a cheaper mobile plan but, ultimately, dynamic competitive markets deliver best for consumers,” Mr Sims concluded.

Have you noticed the price of your mobile plan increasing?
price of your mobile plan increasing
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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