The cost of Internet access in Russia in 2021 may grow by at least 10% – top managers of providers polled by Telecom Daily warn about this.
In the coming year, prices for services of fixed-line operators (primarily Internet) in Russia may increase by 10-15%. Almost 2/3 of the respondents – top managers of telecommunications companies providing Internet access and pay TV, as well as telephony services – stated this in a survey by the analytical agency Telecom Daily. Another 10% believe that prices will rise by more than 20%. 74% of the surveyed executives are sure that tariffs will rise more than the projected inflation rate.
Most often, survey participants talk about the risks associated with the deterioration of the general situation in the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic (70% of respondents say this). 56% of respondents, whose companies buy equipment, software and media content for subscribers for foreign currency, point to the depreciation of the ruble as a reason for future price increases. Market participants also spoke about capital-intensive initiatives of the Russian authorities (30%). Among them is the Yarovaya law, which requires operators to pay additional expenses for storing conversations and e-mails of subscribers, as well as ensuring their free access to sites under the Accessible Internet project.
Internet prices began to grow in 2018, before that they were constrained by competition between providers, said Denis Kuskov, CEO of Telecom Daily. For example, in late 2018 – early 2019, Rostelecom raised tariffs by 5-7%, he recalls. The increase in tariffs may not be direct, but indirect: the subscriber is transferred from the archive tariff to a more “modern” and high-speed one, the fee for which can be 100 rubles. higher – and relatively low tariffs with low speeds are washed out of the range of operators, explains Kuskov. According to Telecom Daily, in 2018 a Russian subscriber spent an average of 350 rubles on home Internet. per month, in 2019 – already 380 rubles. Forecast for 2020 – 405 rubles. However, it is incorrect to talk about a linear increase, says Kuskov. Often, prices even go down during promotions – however, after a few months, the subscriber still has to pay at market rates.
At the same time, the majority of operators (78%) today do not experience serious financial difficulties, according to the survey data. 46% of Telecom Daily respondents said they have enough money not only to maintain, but also to develop their business.
Operators have repeatedly talked about a sharp increase in demand for home Internet services this spring, with the start of the pandemic. According to the Ministry of Digital Science, in the first half of 2020, home Internet traffic in Russia grew by 34% to more than 29 billion GB.