Facing a general public perception of a lack of competition leading to poor affordability of data services, and pressure from both the regulator and the national government on data pricing, MMD was asked to help “set the record straight” and establish if its MNO client (and competitors in the market) were charging excessive rates for data services.
The first task was to scrutinise the data analysis and methodology being undertaken by an internet policy body to establish the accuracy of its published findings. MMD recommended a consistent and transparent data pricing benchmark study approach, using the internationally recognised OECD methodology for data collection and price basket analysis. The study was carried out for prepay and postpay mobile, tablet and laptop propositions, in 21 international markets. Markets studied included peer and non-peer countries, in each of which the top two or three MNOs' data propositions were gathered for pricing analysis.
MMD was able to provide it’s client with a non-biased, independent and frank comparison of how its data tariffs compared internationally against both peer and non-peer countries. MMD also helped the client prepare for an official government inquiry into data pricing and recommended the inclusion of “broader context” elements to consider in the context of data pricing, internet affordability and internet inclusiveness for citizens. This included elements such as handset affordability, 3G and 4G coverage and the level of spectrum availability. When compared internationally our MNO client and its overall market proved to be a leader in handset affordability but continued to be challenged by spectrum availability.