Macau leads worldwide reduction of telecommunication and broadband Internet prices

29 March 2010

Macau, China, 29 March – Macau in 2009 led a worldwide drop in the price of telecommunications services and amongst Portuguese-speaking countries was followed mainly by Brazil and Cape Verde, according to a report from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Having reduced the index of the cost of a basket of telecommunications services from 0.63 percent of average gross per capita income in 2008 to 0.23 percent in 2009, Macau was polled ahead of Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuwait and Luxembourg in the price of telecommunications across the world, in a report entitled Evaluating the Information Society 2010, published recently and to which Macauhub had access.

Applied to 161 countries, the index combines the average cost of fixed-line and mobile telephony and broadband Internet access services.

Across the world the biggest drops were in fixed line broadband Internet access (42 percent), followed by mobile telephone services (25 percent) and fixed line (20 percent).

For Macau’s first place in the ranking the drop in broadband prices was decisive given that Hong Kong has relatively lower costs for fixed line and mobile phones.

Portugal was placed 38th in the ITU ranking, with a substantial reduction (from 1.74 percent of gross per capita income to 1.28 percent), thanks to a drop in costs of mobile telecommunications to one third and a modest drop in broadband prices, along with a slight reduction in the price of fixed line communications.

Brazil reduced the cost of its basket of telecommunications services to almost half, from 7.68 percent of income to 4.14 percent, with the cost of broadband falling from 9.61 percent to 4.58 percent.

Slightly below Brazil’s 87th place, in 105th place is Cape Verde which dropped the price of its basket of service from 11.26 percent to 7.09 percent of average income, with fixed line telecommunications dropping to just 1.93 percent of income, but with broadband access remaining high at 13.37 percent despite a drop.

Angola, in 120th place, also managed a strong drop, from 30.55 percent of income to 21.45 percent, although broadband costs remained high, in the order of 54.76 percent of average income.

Sao Tome and Principe’s basket of services remained practically unchanged at 49.20 percent in 2009, ranking in 143rd position, whilst Mozambique saw an appreciable drop, without changing its place of fourth from last.

The Mozambican basket of telecommunications services is valued at 56.16 percent of income, which is still lower than the 68.03 percent of the previous year, thanks to reduced prices in all three components.

The weight of the cost of broadband in Mozambique remains high, at around 260.22 percent of average income, which means it is the privilege of very few Mozambicans.

Mozambique and Guinea Bissau are two of the Portuguese-speaking countries with the lowest score in the index of telecommunications development, both ranking in the last ten places.

Angola was ranked in 139th place, having dropped on place against the previous year, whilst Cape Verde rose five places, to 102nd.

Brazil was ranked 60th, one place higher than the previous year, and Portugal dropped to places to 32nd.

Macau is also the best placed in this table, in 24th, a rise of four places. (macauhub)