Czech mobile users rush for new ‘unlimited’ call/SMS packages

19 Apr 2013

Radio Praha reports that thousands of Czech mobile users have clamoured to sign up to new unlimited voice call and SMS/MMS packages priced at rates similar to those in neighbouring countries, after years of having to endure high mobile bills. The media outlet claims that since the big three cellcos – Telefonica O2 CR, Vodafone CR and T-Mobile CR – slashed their tariffs last week, their customer care lines have been busy with users seeking to take advantage of the new, lower service plans. Telefonica O2 CR was the first to move, offering its mobile users a cross-network 24-month contract with unlimited voice calls and text messages, and 1MB of mobile data for CZK749 (USD38.1) per month – roughly 50% of its previous tariff. A few days later, Vodafone CR and T-Mobile CR unveiled rival offers, which took prices even lower.

Although it is too soon to assess the full impact of the dramatic price cutting in the country, Telefonica O2 marketing director Petr Matejovsky said: ‘At this moment we are very happy with what we have seen so far because the response has been great, as you could probably read yourself in the social media and the newspapers. Customers are responding in a great way, and in a way that we were hoping for. It’s too early to assess the size of the revolution but the results so far are very promising.’

Industry watchers broadly agree that the big three incumbents’ decision to slash prices is a reaction to the arrival of a potential fourth mobile network operator, as well as the launch of a number of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). Despite this, Matejovsky claims his company’s decision to cut its own rates had been planned a long time ago. ‘Our customers told us they wanted more value so we decided a long time ago that we wanted to change the rules of the market, and regain the trust of our customers so that they would again be interested in coming to us and get new tariffs. It’s not connected to any recent changes on the market; it was a long-planned move that was decided upon many months ago.’