Europe likes bundled comms plans
Bundled communications plans are popular in Europe, with 42% of households subscribing to them.
Around 41% of households questioned in a new EU barometer survey said bundles offered the advantage of a single service provider, while 33% believed bundles led to greater overall savings.
Survey results showed 61% of all internet access plans and half of fixed telephony services were purchased as part of a bundle, although some 16% of respondents indicated bundles offered unnecessary services while another 10% raised concerns regarding the conditions of bundled services.
The survey, which covered some 27,000 European households between 9 February and 8March this year, showed few households on bundled plans (comprising Internet, phone and TV) were inclined to grab competitive offers, with only 8% of households having switched service provider, while 60% of households had never thought of switching.
Obstacles to switching consumers voiced included temporary loss of service, the fear of having to pay for more than one provider during a switching process and lack of clarity on the switching process.
Further results from the survey showed that 1 in 4 respondents did not think their uplink and downlink Internet speeds matched advertised speeds, while 1 in 3 reported experiencing connection failures. Approximately a quarter of respondents also reported difficulties with connecting to a mobile network, and a similar proportion reported having been cut off during a call.
The popularity of Internet calls has risen in Europe, with 28% of households making such calls, a 6% increase from the last survey. This popularity, coupled with cost concerns, has also led to 65% of respondents limiting calls from the mobile phone. Half the respondents who used smartphones also reported limiting their usage due to cost concerns.
Data privacy issues continue to be on the minds of Europeans, with 88% of respondents indicating they wanted to be informed if personal data collected by an ISP was lost, stolen or changed in any way.
The proportion of households who function without a fixed line had increased in 17 countries since the last survey; the Czech Republic in particular, had 81% of households accessing the public telephone network via cellphone only. Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia each had more than 50% of households function via a cellphone-only model. The EU average was 27%.