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News | Wednesday, 26 May 2010 Issue. 165

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Malta’s mobile telephony prices still rated ‘among the highest in the EU’

The latest European Commission (EC) implementation report on Malta for the Electronic Communications Market for 2008 has highlighted yet again that during that year, mobile telephony prices in Malta were amongst the highest in the EU.
On its part, the MCA in a statement in response to the EC report, contended that a third network operator entered the market in early 2009.
According to calculations made by the MCA, “the average price per minute decreased from €0.24 in 2008 to around €0.17 in 2009”. The MCA also lamented that “European rules” preclude the MCA from intervening directly in this market at a retail level.
Furthermore, with respect to mobile telephony, the report states that “penetration continued to grow, reaching 101.0% in July 2009 compared to 94.5% in July 2008.”
According to the MCA, the Commission noted that “mobile telephony registered considerable gains in traffic volume. The number of outgoing mobile voice calls reached 121.6 million up to June 2009”.
On average, the number of outgoing calls in the first quarter 2009 reached 157.4 per active mobile subscription, representing a 4.7% increase compared to the previous quarter.
National outgoing mobile voice call minutes in the first half of 2009 increased by 21% compared to the same period in 2008.
According to the EU Commission, broadband penetration continued to grow by 2.9% from January 2009 to January 2010 to reach 26.8% in January 2010. This was higher than the EU average of 24.8%.
Maltese consumers were also enjoying further improvements in the price-speed ratio, with the vast majority (97.5%) of subscribers enjoying speeds of 2Mbps or higher.
The EC report also highlighted a growth in the total turnover of the electronic communications’ sector reaching 261 million in 2008, a 6% increase over 2007.
In addition, market players invested €41 million in 2008. Another encouraging aspect of the report is that all telecoms sectors that is, fixed and mobile telephony, broadband and TV, reported a growth during 2009.



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