Portuguese Consumer Association Criticizes Extra Cost for 5G Access

Portuguese Consumer Association Criticizes Extra Cost for 5G Access

Portuguese consumer association Deco Proteste has warned that, once operators end the free access period for 5G, users will have to pay an additional five euros (US $5.49) per month to access these networks. The advocacy organization argued that this free period should be extended because 5G is a “recent” technology and still only has “limited coverage in Portugal.” Deco Proteste particularly criticized this additional cost being applied to low-end tariffs with less than 10 GB of data included.

Portuguese operators have extended the free 5G access period of several times already, but it is now expected to end by 30 September 2023 for all tariffs.

Tarifica’s Take

While it’s important for operators to be able to monetize their investments in 5G networks, they should also pay attention to consumer expectations and be careful about pricing increases. The negative fallout of overly aggressive price increases could lead to consumers changing providers and even regulatory intervention.

This situation in Portugal serves as a reminder of the delicate balance all operators face in implementing pricing changes for new technology, and also underscores the potential consequences they face if they get it wrong. The multiple previously scheduled but ultimately delayed launches of this price increase further illustrate the pressure that Portuguese providers are facing in trying to charge consumers for this higher level of mobile service. Should the increase finally be implemented, it will be interesting to see how Portuguese consumers react to the upcoming changes and whether regulators get involved.