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Czech legal amendment will make switching mobile operators easier

The changes should improve competition in the Czech mobile phone market

It should become easier for people in the Czech Republic to change mobile operators, if an amendment passed by the Czech Senate is signed into law by President Miloš Zeman.

If approved, the amendment will take effect as of April 2020. Operators have previously stated that they have been anticipating the changes.

The amendment calls for reducing the penalty for switching to another mobile operator and shortening the time limit for the operator to transferring the telephone number. This should lead to more competition between operators and ultimately help to reduce prices.

The fine for switching to another mobile operator will decrease from 20% to 5% of the price they still have until the contract expires. In the case of termination of a fixed-term contract, people would not pay anything after three months of its duration.

The time for the operator to change a person’s number when switching mobile carriers will be shortened from 10 days to two business days in most circumstances. The customer would also not have to contact their existing operator when switching to the competition.

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The amendment also explicitly states that porting a telephone number is free of charge. However, your carrier might charge for unused credit.

Tools for helping people chose which operator offers the best deals and service will also be created.

A calculator will also be created to allow clients to compare prices of individual operators independently. A comparative tool operated by the Czech Telecommunications Office (ČTÚ) would also assess the quality of services.

The law will also introduce sanctions for failure to comply with the European regulation on the price of calls and text messages abroad within the European Union.

A 2018 report from the European Commission showed that mobile phone fees in the Czech Republic were among the highest in Europe, with every usage package examined being significantly higher than the EU average. The situation has not improved much since then, although two operators now offer unlimited data, something that has been common in other EU countries for a long time.

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