What to monitor in 2009
*by Eduardo Tude and José Luis de Souza
2008 was a good year for the telecommunication sector, though the international financial crisis may affect the sector in 2009. Internationally, the crisis area already point out for a decrease in the cellular growth and devices sales.
In Brazil, the year starts with a new competitive climate with the incorporation of Brasil Telecom (BrT) by Oi.
The following presents a selection of 10 main trends chosen by Teleco to be monitored in 2009:
- Cellular Growth. The competitive climate which led cellular to a record growth in 2008 will continue to be present in 2009. Oi will continue to shake the market in São Paulo State and might compete strongly in the BrT's region II. Claro will try to decrease the distance that separates it from Vivo. The churn control will be fundamental for the operators development. Brazil might finish 2009 with a density of more than 90 cell/100 inhab. This climate may be affected, however, by the international financial crisis in Brazil.
- 3G expansion. The operator might continue to expand its 3G networks in Brazil, what may stimulate the mobile broadband use through modems. The smartphone use may also grow stimulating the creation of new services. In 2009, Anatel can also carry a auction of Band H, resulting in a new competitor in the Brazilian market. Though, it's possible that the investments reduction expected in the international market for 2009 calls off this decision.
- Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). With cellular surpassing the density of 90 cell/100 inhab., seems to be coming the time for MVNOs to spread in Brazil, as occurred in other countries in the world.
- Cellular Revenue overcomes the fixed telephony's. The cellular operators revenue is growing more than the fixed operators' (including broadband). In 2009, the cellular revenue can surpass the fixed telephony operators revenue.
- Fixed Telephony Growth. The quantity of fixed accesses in service might remain the growth trend in 2009, mainly by actions of authorized companies, such as Embratel and GVT, and by the use of wireless and VOIP technologies. The broadband growth will continue to be the focus for fixed telephony operators aiming the growth of revenue.
- WiMAX. It's expected for 2009, the auction of WiMAX frequencies (3,5GHz) in Brazil, what might become another point to stimulate the broadband growth.
- Number Portability. Number portability was launched in Brazil in 2008. By March 2009, it will be available in all the country. The portability use is still small, but its effects are already felt, mainly in the fixed telephony. In cellular, it will be the big tool to get new clients.
- Operators Consolidation. By Telecom Italia's decision for keeping the control of Tim Brasil, big movements towards consolidations aren't expected for 2009. There are. however, some companies that may be targets for acquisitions such as GVT and Intelig.
- Triple Play. With the convergence, operators are focusing in triple play packages (Fixed telephony, Broadband and Pay TV). The implementation of changes in the Cable TV regulation in 2009 may help in this process, these weren't implemented in 2008.
- Digital TV. There are no signs that 2009 will be very different than 2008 for Digital TV. The number of cities covered by this service will increase, but it might still face coverage problems, little programming and high cost converters.
You could ask:
- How will the international financial crisis affect the Telecom sector in Brazil?
- Will Nextel acquire a 3G license?
- Will the Wimax action be carried out in 2009?
- Will number portability be a factor for competition to the Telecom market, in fixed telephony as well as in mobile telephony?
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