Telecoms companies blame war in Ukraine, energy crisis for rising prices

Estonian telecoms companies are raising prices and blame the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and the after-effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" spoke to companies about actions they have already taken and what they plan to do in the coming months.

Unfortunately, there is no good news for customers.

Telia recently told its clients that router rental prices and set-top box fees will rise by between 30 percent and 50 percent from December.

However, the company says improvements are also being made to these products.

"This will be accompanied by development work to enable, for example, remote management of set-top boxes or routers to address various technical concerns. This includes software upgrades, all kinds of new add-ons," Raigo Neudorf, head of Telia's media relations, told the show.

Diili's mobile packages will also "inevitably" rise in January.

"If we look at the current rate of inflation, the rate at which various costs are rising, this will, unfortunately, have a domino effect on the television sector," said Neudorf.

Tele2 has already put prices up by an average of 15 percent. Business customers will also pay more from December 1.

"In the autumn, Tele2 changed the prices of its calling and internet services. Of course, this is due to increased operating costs. We are affected by electricity prices the same way everyone else is, and by technological investments needed to compete [with other companies]," said Ines Estrin, Tele2's marketing director.

Elisa has raised its prices throughout the year and across all products and services, some by as much as 20 percent. The company said this will not stop any time soon.

Elisa board member Mailiis Ploommann said the reasons for this lie with the war in Ukraine, the unpredictable energy crisis, and China's very conservative coronavirus policy.

"This means that sometimes factories shut down, sometimes ships are stuck in different ports waiting for goods, which breaks up supply chains and inevitably creates artificial shortages of electronic goods. All this drives up prices," she said.

Elisa is also trying to make up for a large drop in TV clients after the government banned Russian channels earlier this year. The company said between 30,000 and 40,000 customers no longer buy viewing packages from any service provider.

"The closure of Russian channels has created a completely new market situation. The market has simply collapsed for tens of thousands of TV viewers," she said, adding the company has historically had a large share of Russian-speaking viewers.

"But it is absolutely certain that all operators lost a significant share of the Estonian TV audience," she said.

Companies are expected to start fighting for more viewers over the next year, AK reported.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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