ECONOMY

Greeks pay among highest in EU for cell phone Web connection

Greek consumers pay dearly for each megabyte of Internet connection on their cell phones. According to a survey by Finnish company Rewheel Ltd, the cost of using a smartphone in Greece is among the highest among the European Union member states.

Rewheel in fact brands the Greek market “closed” in its survey, in contrast to other markets, such as Estonia’s, which are branded “open” and have much higher mobile Internet penetration.

The survey was based on the minimum cost of a cell phone package with a certain amount of free talking time and Internet use, with access to the Web and a data transfer capacity up to 2 gigabytes as well as 200 minutes of talking time every month to all national networks. Using this criterion, Greece was found to be one of the top two most expensive countries in the EU.

The cheapest available solution in Greece ranked the country second in the bloc, with a monthly cost of 50 euros. However, the average charge for such packages from all the country’s service providers positions Greece as the most expensive country for smartphone use in the EU.

Other member states with a similar or even higher growth level than Greece’s have much lower charges for smartphone use. The abovementioned package, which is used as a yardstick, was found to cost between 8 and 78 euros per month across the 27 countries and the 92 cell phone networks.

According to the same survey, Greece is in a much better position in terms of purchase value than less developed countries, such as Romania and Bulgaria. Greek consumers spend less than 10 percent of their monthly income on such a service, whereas consumers in other member states spend much more than 10 percent. Still, there are also countries where average spending of consumers’ income on such packages stands at just 1.5 percent.

Rewheel has also found that the number of service providers in each mobile phone market determines the level of charges. Among markets with just three or four networks, there is an average 46 percent difference between the cheapest and most expensive packages. The existence of new or independent suppliers (not controlled by Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, Telefonica and Telecom Italia), however, can boost that difference to as much as 140 percent.