With a tremendous amount of iPhone’s in the market and plenty of other smartphones as well, Kosovo seems to be the place where the most smartphones per capita are. According to the Q3 Report from the Telecom Regulatory of Kosovo, the country has 1,76 million mobile subscribers which have managed to provide over 41 million euros of income forÂ the mobile market.
IPKO has managed to gain a great portion of the market since early 2012 and ending the thirdÂ period of 2014 with a market percentage of 36.4%, while Vala which has suffered throughout the privatization process and which eventually failed, lost it’s market share and ended up Q3 with 53.2%, but still leading. TheÂ third virtualÂ operator Z-Mobile continues to have approximately 10% of the market.
Just last year, the two biggest telecom providers of the country, IPKO and Vala, launched a fierce competition with each-other on who’s going to deliver 3G and then later 4G to the customers. IPKO won both battles, yet in limited ways.
Vala followed-up as well and is running fast to support 4G. Yet both 3G and 4G Networks are limited across the country since speeds vary a lot and the infrastructure is not upgraded to support the fast mobile internet nor the vast amount of users. However what is of concern is the price customers have to pay per MB of Mobile Internet, which pushed us to the point of doing a regional research on Albania and MacedoniaÂ to see where does Kosovo stand compared to them.
Data for 1GB/2GB Packages, Validity and Prices.
While we were searching through the website of the public operator Vala, which under the new management is getting back on track again, we saw that the price for 1MB is 0.01 Cent. Vala has also two products for mobile Internet;
- 2GB Mobile Internet 3G for 3 Euros which can be used for a period of 30 days and
- 1GB Mobile Internet 3G for 1.5 Euros and which can be used for 1 Week.
IPKO makes sure to bring more offers and packages for its customers, and it supports 4G in the center of Prishtina and at the International Airport of Kosovo, a partial plus compared to Vala, which is starting to expand it’s 4G services as this article is being written. Currently, as this article was being written 3G internet speed test showed impressive 8.56 Mbps Download speed while pricing wise, things are as follows;
- 2GB Mobile Internet 3G for 2 Euros which can be used for a period of 7 days and in case you want to have the Internet for the whole month then you can pay the same package for 8GB’s of Internet and a cost of 8 Euros.
- 500 MB Daily Mobile Internet 3G for 50 Cent.
- 300 MB for 1.95 Euros
- 700 MB for 3.95 Euros
- 1GB for 4.95 Euros
- 3GB for 10.00 Euros
All data packages last for 30 days from the day of activation. The price for the first initial 1MB is 0.20 Euros after the package has exceeded, while for every additional 10KB the cost is 0.0008 Euros which means 1MB at a cost of 0.08 Euros.
A Few months ago, the Albanian Authority for Telecom Market Regulation announced that it will open a tender for the allocation of the frequency band of 1800 which will enable operators to offer 4G/LTE. Something that is still not the case in Kosovo. Yet again in Albania, this opportunity gives the chance to telecom operators to share 4G services within May 2015 in Tirana and soon throughout Albania. Let’s see where we’re standing with the current telecom operators and pricing.
Vodafone Albania is working on implementing 4G communication technology for its customers in Albania this year, while the 3G services are quite stable throughout the country. VodafoneAL has an average 3G download speed of 2.2 Mb/s, which is better than the global average of 1.8 Mb/s. The mobile internet costs 0.0070 Euro for 10 KiloByte, while the packages are as follows:
- 100 MB Internet for daily usage: 0,40 Euro.
- 1GB for Weekly usage at a cost of 2.10 Euro.
- 1GB for Monthly usage at a cost of 3.90 Euro.
- 2GB for Monthly usage at a cost of 5.30 Euro.
Eagle Mobile was created in March 2008 as a subsidiary of ALBtelecom, which had been privatized in October 2007 with a majority of shares sold by the Albanian government to a consortium of two Turkish companies, Calik Holding and Turk Telekom. EAGLE AL has an average 3G download speed of 1.8 Mb/s, which is worse than the global average of 1.8 Mb/s. Their mobile internet offers offer the following packages:
- Daily Package of no Limit MB costs 0.35 Euro.
- The limitless weekly package costs 2.10 Euro
- The 1GB Monthly Package costs 3.20 Euro
- The 4GB Monthly Package comes at 7.10 Euro
- And the 8GB Monthly Package comes at 12.80 Euro
AMC Albania has some interesting 3G Mobile Internet Packages, including monthly and daily pre-paid packages or monthly based post-paid packages. AMC – AL has an average 3G download speed of 1.4 Mb/s, which is worse than the global average of 1.8 Mb/s.
- The Daily Package of 150MB costs 0.42 Euro (After package expires the cost is:Â 0.0069 Euro / 10 kb)
- The 1GB Monthly Package costs 3.55 Euro.
AMC has a package called AMC Relaks which offers limitless 3G mobile internet connection for it’s post-paid customers, which have to pay a monthly cost that starts from 8.50 Euro, while other plans may differ in price.
PLUS Communications is the latest mobile operator in Albania, which has managed to provide some interesting offers for its customers. We had some trouble finding the right link on the website for the mobile internet prices, since there was no price details onÂ that web link.
However there are some scattered details on different packages, but we had to skip this operator since it was difficult to find information and we also expect our readers to provide details in the comments for possible costs and offers related to 3G.
According to a report published by the Regulatory of Telecommunications in Macedonia – AEK, the country has 2.300 million mobile subscribers as of Q3 2014, out of whichÂ 1.005.241 subscribers have access to 3G Networks. The Country has 3 Mobile Operators, including VIP, One and T-Mobile, all of which are privately owned.
Vip MK has an average 3G download speed of 0.3 Mb/s, which is worse than the global average of 1.8 Mb/s. Vip MK is a 4G network since 2nd Jun 2014. Vip MK has an average 4G download speed of 7 Mb/s, which is worse than the global average of 8.1 Mb/s. The VIP Postpaid Packages include the following plans:
- VIP Surf Basic Package for 1GB mobile data for 2.40 Euro.
- VIP Surf Speed Package for 3GB mobile data for 4.80 Euro.
After packages expire you can continue to surf unlimited for a reduced speed of speed 32 kbps.
The prepaid packages include:
- VIP Click for 100 MB Daily data at a cost of 0.30 Euro
- 300 MB for 7 days at a cost of 0.60 Euro
- 2GB for 7 Days at a cost of 1.60 Euro
T-Mobile has an average 3G download speed of 3 Mb/s, which is better than the global average of 1.8 Mb/s. T-Mobile MK is a 4G network since 27th Apr 2014 and offers a 4G download speed of 15.2 Mb/s, which is better than the global average of 8.1 Mb/s.
Select a monthly package for relaxed surfing starting from 1.60 Euro or a daily package for only 0.50 EUROÂ with unlimited internet for your everyday needs. If you are online at all times, you can now get 10 GB with the Mobile Surf Premium! The packages are available for one month and are as follows:
- Mobile Surf Basic with 100 MB costs 1.60 Euro.
- Mobile Surf Start with 300 MB costs 3.20 Euro.
- Mobile Surf Medium with 1GB costs 4.80 Euro
- Mobile Surf Comfort with 3GB costs 8.10 Euro
- Mobile Surf Premium with 10GB costs 12.90 Euro
A daily package of 300MB mobile data costs 0.50 Euro.
ONE, a unit of Telekom Slovenije, launched its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in the country on 29 August 2014. ONE has an average 3G download speed of 1.8 Mb/s, which is worse than the global average of 1.8 Mb/s. The post-paid internet packages include:
- Monthly S Package consisting of 4GB mobile data at a cost of 6.5 Euro (Normal Package 1GB)
- Monthly M Package for 8GB mobile data at a cost ofÂ 9.70 Euro (Normal Package 4GB)
- Monthly L Package for 16GB mobile data at a cost of 17.80 Euro. (Normal Package 8GB)
One offers details on pricing packages for 4G LTE, which can be used through a USB modem.
Looking at price offers and internet speeds, one can see similarities in prices between countries however while there are concerns about the costs of the mobile internet in Kosovo, results, and comparisons show differences.
For example, 1GB for one month in regular offer in Kosovo costs 5 Euro from IPKO, while in Albania almost all three operators offer the same in a lower cost between 3.2 and 3.9 Euro. In Macedonia things are even better, with offers like 2GB mobile data for 1 Month for 2.5 Euros, from One, which is double the data and half the price of IPKO.
1 MB Data for customers in the countries is a bit better in Kosovo, if we do a rough estimation and base the prices also on the data provided on the web sites. IPKO charges initially 0.20 Euro per MB and drops to 0.08 Euro for the additional MB, while Vala is better with a price of 0.01 Euro per MB. In Albania prices per MB go up to 0.70 Euro per MB, while in Macedonia prices vary between 0.06 Euro per MB to 0.30 euro per MB* (T-Mobile Price – 1st for cost in case of Easy Top offer, second price in case off the Easy Top Offer validity).
To sum it up, mobile operators in Kosovo are not falling behind the region and do provide good internet speeds and somewhat good prices for mobile users, what is lacking though is the customer experience in terms of offer validity, service stability (internet speeds vary a lot and calls fail often), reward programs and package offers, to which regional operators stand much better.
The data source for 3G/4G Speeds from Opensignal.com.
Data was taken only for customer offers not for business offers.
Prices on EURO may vary depending on exchange rates between Macedonian Denar and Albanian Lek.