Since last year, the major Internet providers have increased their tariffs by 51 percent. Inflation is also noticeable in mobile communications: price increases at O2 in particular mean that 35 percent of all network operator tariffs have become more expensive.
Internet: Price increases in 51 percent of tariffs
A total of 21 out of 41 tariffs from the major internet providers have become more expensive since July 2022. These include offers from 1&1, Deutsche Telekom as well as Vodafone and O2. On average, the increase is 7.38 euros per month; Vodafone made the most price adjustments. Offers for existing customers are also affected.
“Inflation does not stop at Internet users; several large providers have recently increased their prices,” says Jens-Uwe Theumer, Vice President Telecommunications at Verivox. “Tariffs in the lower price segment in particular have become more expensive. This means that the customer groups who already have fewer financial resources and have to count on every euro are the ones who are most burdened with price increases.”
Mobile communications: So far only increases for new customers
It has also become more expensive for cell phone customers: Although existing customers of the network operators did not have to accept any price increases, the price level for new customers has increased significantly in the past 12 months. At 1&1, which was still in the process of starting network operations, there were not only higher internet prices, but also a significant price adjustment in the largest mobile phone tariff. Across all network operators, new customers had to dig deeper into their pockets for 35 percent of tariffs in July 2023 than a year before. With the exception of the 1&1 Allnet-Flat XXL, all price adjustments from the major providers affect O2 tariffs. On average, the increase is 12.14 euros per month.
“O2 has not only increased the prices, but also the scope of services,” says Theumer. “The fast 5G network standard is now included in all tariffs, and the data budgets have also been increased. O2 is very consciously targeting a young, price-sensitive customer base who access the network almost exclusively via mobile devices. With higher volumes, as other network operators often do Offered as part of promotions, the aim is to entice data-hungry existing customers to switch.”
Not a consistent picture: around every second tariff has been cheaper since 2021
Despite the price adjustments mentioned, savings are possible for large customer groups. Because almost every second Internet customer (48 percent) could get the tariff they took out at that time cheaper today than two years ago. Half of the cheaper tariffs not only have lower prices, but also an improved scope of services.
Mobile phone customers benefit even more often from better conditions: In 66 percent of mobile phone tariffs, the effective prices are lower today than in 2021. Not only have the prices been reduced in almost all of the cheaper tariffs, but the services have also been improved.
“In view of high inflation and its far-reaching consequences, competition is more important today than ever,” says Theumer. “In order not to pay more than necessary, consumers should check their contracts. Our calculations show that, despite the sometimes increased prices, those who switch can often get better conditions than two years ago. Thanks to a change in the law, it is possible to change provider every month after the minimum term .”
Verivox researched the new customer prices of the largest German internet and mobile phone providers (Telekom, Vodafone, O2 and 1&1) in July 2023 and compared them with the prices in July 2022. The providers examined cover around 90 percent of the market.
In addition, for both areas (internet and mobile communications), the monthly effective prices of the transactions concluded via Verivox in the first half of 2021 were compared with the currently available effective prices for new customers. Tariffs from the same provider with identical download speeds were compared. Contracts with a term of 24 months (excluding hardware or bundles) are taken into account. The deadline for considering the current prices is July 10, 2023 for internet and June 14, 2023 for mobile communications.