Austria is a lovely country. It is small, has a population of about 6 million people, lovely food, loads of shrinks hunting smartphone owners (had to do it, sorry )…and about 10 carriers fighting for the 6 million aforementioned folks (who, on average, have more than one phone each).
This has led to a huge price war – carrier managers repeatedly bicker about how the lower and lower fees damage their ability to remain profitable. Nevertheless, the lever gets lower by the minute…we are now down to 4 cents/minute without a contract of any kind.
Hartlauer’s marketing department has proven to be a good friend of the Tamoggemon Content network for quite some time, as they send us a free brochure containing all kinds of stuff once a week. This time, it contained a comparison of tariffs from 2005 and 2008 (click for bigger German version). Needless to say: minute prices have fallen insanely…
So far, so good. But when you look at SMS, you see that all of the five carriers included into this survey have raised SMS prices by more than 25% in the last three years. What cost just 20 cents in 2005, now costs 25 cents across all of the five carriers who do contracts.
While my comparison definitely is skewed to some extent (I have excluded special SMS deals), it nevertheless shows an interesting trend. Carriers are moving away from the “mainstream”, looking for niches where revenue can be generated (think SMS, apps, mail boxes, calls to foreign countries, etc).
The carrier landscape in Austria is shaking as smartphones allow for new revenue models – let me recommend an application that helps our aforementioned friends scam smartphone users passing them by automatically…