Communication with foreign countries will be expensive – Newspaper Kommersant No. 166 (7367) of 09/09/2022

After the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine, the basic services of foreign roaming at Russian telecom operators rose by 5-40%, the cost of options – by 40-60%. Operators claim that the price increase affected a small number of subscribers and was due to the unstable ruble exchange rate. Experts believe that against the backdrop of the “geopolitical situation”, roaming will be in less demand, and Russians traveling abroad will return to using tourist SIM cards.

Kommersant compared the current prices for international roaming services of the largest Russian operators with the tariffs of 2021.

So, for example, at MegaFon in Germany, Turkey, Georgia and other destinations last year there was a default package (60 minutes, 1 GB) for 399 rubles. per day. Now, MegaFon clarified, the company “changed its approach to roaming billing”, the following scheme operates by default: a minute of incoming and outgoing calls – for 69 rubles, 100 Kb of traffic – for 6.9 rubles. (the conditions are valid until the end of the day during which you spent 599 rubles). At the same time, the package for 399 rubles. per day has disappeared from roaming tariffs, there is a separate call package (30 and 60 minutes) for 499 and 699 rubles, as well as a Roaming, Goodbye Plus package for 999 rubles. (10 GB internet and 100 minutes).

MTS this year it raised prices for popular destinations, in particular Turkey, Uzbekistan, South Korea, Spain and other countries, now outgoing and incoming calls to Russia cost 85 rubles. per minute (previously 60 rubles), and calls to other countries – 155 rubles. The Zabugorishche option has risen in price from 390–450 rubles. depending on the country, up to 450–490 rubles, the price for the Zero Without Borders option (a package of incoming calls) has increased from 125 to 170 rubles. MTS Kommersant said that the increase in the price of the option occurred back in 2021, and “the change in roaming prices affected a small number of subscribers and was below the inflation rate.”

U VimpelCom (Beeline brand) on popular destinations (Great Britain, Georgia, Turkey, etc.) a minute of incoming or outgoing calls costs 45 rubles. (previously 35 rubles), by default, an Internet package of 1 GB per day is available for 450 rubles. (previously 350 rubles). The press service of VimpelCom reported that they changed the terms of service in roaming back in April due to “the unstable exchange rate of the national currency and a significant discount on communication services abroad, which at that time the operator had relative to the offers of other market players.”

Roaming tariffs have changed since June 8 Tele2, follows from the information on the company’s website, a minute of conversation in Armenia, Turkey and Kazakhstan and other countries now costs 39 rubles, previously it cost 15 rubles, but the original prices are not indicated. Tele2 declined to comment.

Maksut Shadayevhead of the Ministry of Digital Development, August 20 (quote from Interfax):

“The increase in tariffs for communication services will remain within the limits of inflation, the change in prices should not be noticeable for subscribers and will allow maintaining the quality of communication.”

According to Denis Kuskov, CEO of TelecomDaily, over the past six months, the cost of basic roaming tariffs of mobile operators has increased by 5–40%, and the cost of options that allow you to save on communication services while traveling has increased by 40–60%. The price of roaming is growing because its consumption has dropped significantly, the expert notes. “Before the pandemic, operators had low prices for basic roaming services, since they could purchase traffic from foreign partners in large volumes; during the pandemic, the number of Russians traveling abroad decreased, so it became unprofitable to purchase large volumes of traffic,” he says. Rising prices for roaming may lead to the return of the popularity of tourist SIM cards, the interest in which was low in the days of cheap roaming, Denis Kuskov believes.

Operators’ equipment purchase costs, in particular, have grown, and they are looking for new opportunities to increase revenue, including through roaming, said Konstantin Ankilov, CEO of TMT Consulting. According to him, in 2020-2021, the share of roaming in the mobile revenue of operators was about 1%, while before the pandemic this figure was at the level of several percent. According to iKS-Consulting analyst Maxim Savvatin, the roaming service is gradually turning into a niche service against the backdrop of the geopolitical situation. “Soon it will be in demand among a limited number of users, given that there are many alternative services on the market — Wi-Fi networks, buying local and international SIM cards and eSIM tariffs, using instant messengers and special applications,” he notes. .

Anastasia Gavrilyuk

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