In January, BT, the UKs largest provider of landline and broadband services, announced its third wave of price increases in just sixteen months. Today, EE - the UKs largest mobile network operator, which was acquired by BT just over a year ago - has announced its own upcoming price changes.
The company has begun informing customers via text message that it will be increasing the cost of their monthly price plans by 2.5% from March 30. The increase will apply to all customers who joined the network on Pay Monthly, SIM Only, 4GEE Wifi/mobile broadband or Business contracts after March 26, 2014.
"Every year in March," EE said, "your monthly price plan cost will increase by the rate of RPI (Retail Price Index). RPI is a measure linked to inflation and measures the increase in prices for consumers on average across the country, over the last 12 months."
However, some economists and statisticians, including Simon Briscoe and Diane Coyle, have pointed out that by using the RPI rather than the CPI (Consumer Prices Index), EEs price increase is effectively above inflation. EE asserted that RPI is "an industry standard measure", but Coyle - who previously served on the UKs Competition Commission - explained that RPI is "not a national statistic", and claimed that EEs use of RPI was "disingenuous".