Altice Portugal will update prices from February, excluding customers who only have landlines and retirees on retired subscriptions from this increase, the executive president told Lusa.
“We will update Meo’s prices from February 2023, because then we will know what the consumer price index (CPI) is,” says Ana Figueiredo.
The executive president of Altice Portugal said that “customers who only have a fixed vote and retirees who have the pension plan” are excluded from this update.
According to the company, the universe of customers who have only fixed voice and pension plans is 100,000.
The price update “is defined in the contracts with our customers”, which stipulates that it will be adjusted for inflation (IPC) in the minimum amount of 50 cents.
“Since inflation was very low, we only discounted 50 cents last year,” the manager said. The government predicts inflation of 7.4% for this year.
For example, in the consumer segmentif 7.4% were applied, this would correspond to an average update of a postpaid mobile customer of meowith built-in 5G, from one euro per month, according to simulations by Altice Portugal.
In the case of the M3 housing package (TV+Net+Voz) this would yield an average update of two euros per month and, in the case of a convergent customer, an M4 package, the average update would be four euros per month .
“We understand the context that the country is experiencing, that Portuguese families are experiencing, and we know it is a difficult context and our main concern with our customers and maximum transparency,” continued Ana Figueiredo, pointing out that the telecommunications industry “has not competed to raise prices”.
Rather, “it’s had some impact on profitability,” he said, and in the past two years, fixed internet traffic increased 51% and mobile by 83% over the same period, which is “relevant.”
This is because with more traffic “I need to have more capacity in my networks, I need to have permanent investments,” he emphasized.
Altice Portugal has been monitoring the current situation, but the “macroeconomic context, especially international as a result of various factors, has changed, deteriorated and intensified”, namely after the war in Ukraine.
There was an inflationary component that existed before the conflict, which was “accelerated”, underlines Ana Figueiredo.
“However, we had to deal with the disruption of the supply chain and the proliferation of some commodities, for example microchips affecting our industry, as well as other commodities that also affect equipment we place in customers’ homes.”
Now “I have to predict the supply of my materials and raw materials much earlier than in the past”. That is, in the past “I ordered for six months or a year, now I have to do it for more than a year, even to make sure I have the ‘stock’ when I need it,” explained from the manager.
On the other hand, “the euro has depreciated against the dollar, most of the equipment and commodities that impact our industry are indexed to the dollar, so there is an increase in both operating costs and investment”, he emphasized.
In addition, energy costs have an impact, namely because “we are an industry that is also a strong energy consumer”.
Altice Portugal is being rolled out in the context of 5G [desenvolvimento] and you have to buy equipment.
“For example, one of the materials where the price increased the most was steel. Steel itself has increased in value by 40% to 60%,” a material needed in the construction of towers, said Ana Figueiredo.
“5G obligations are what they are and we are committed to complying with these rules,” the executive president claimed.
In addition to the above, the manager also points to the “wage inflation” of some skills that are critical to the organization as “there has been high demand and labor shortages”.
This “necessarily leads to an increase in labor costs and later, for the year, an increase in the minimum wage is also foreseen” and “although we do not have anyone in our structure who earns the minimum wage, we outsource companies that automatically pay the increases in the minimum wage.” minimum wage in our structure,” he notes.
The effects of inflation, he continued, fundamentally felt in March, but had been going on for some time, and the company “always tried not to reflect this” on customers, “maintain service levels” and “wait for the context might change”.
In other words, “we have fully absorbed this increase in costs. We believe that this is now a phase where, despite all the uncertainty, we need to make this update,” he emphasized.
“We will continue to guarantee the quality of service to our customers and stick to the commitments we have with 5G and the goals outlined,” stressed Ana Figueiredo.
The operator’s customers will start receiving information about the tariff update in 2023 from today.