06/08/2009


Is portability use in Brazil lower than the expected?

 

Number portability, which makes possible to exchange operator keeping the phone number, was implemented gradually in Brazil during the period from Sep/08 to Feb/09. Since March 2009, it's available in all the country. The monthly average of ported numbers, from March to May 2009, was 98 thousand fixed telephones and 187 thousand cellulars.

 

 

The accumulated from Sep/08 to May/09 reached 392 thousand fixed and 787 thousand cellulars. This quantity is big in absolute terms, but small when we compare to the total of fixed and cellular telephones in Brazil. There was an expectation that it would be more used, since portability doesn't have any additional cost for user. The fee (R$4.00) charged in order to keep the number is paid by operators.

 

The following figure presents a comparison between the monthly churn in Spain, Portugal and Brazil. The churn was calculated by dividing the amount of ported numbers in the period by the quantity of telephones in the beginning of the period.

 

 

This figure points out to different conclusions in relation to the adoption of number portability in fixed and cellular which are commented in the following.

 

 

The impact of prepaid in cellular portability

 

In cellular, with monthly churn of portability of 0.12%, Brazil's in a intermediate position between Spain (0.65%) and Portugal (0.03%).

 

We can note that cellular churn in Brazil is 2.8%, in other words, only 4.2% of the cellulars which had exchanged operator in the month made use of portability.

 

One of the factors that contribute for this result is the big participation of prepaid in the total of cellular in Brazil (81.6% in Apr/09). In Spain this participation reaches 40.1% and in Portugal 74.1%. The prepaid user has demonstrated less interested in keeping his phone number.

 

Indeed, the 23 Area Codes that represented a monthly churn of portability in May/09 bigger than the Brazilian average (0.12%) are located in the south and south-east, where prepaid participation in smaller. In the two area codes where the use of portability were bigger are part of Santa Catarina, where prepaid represents 78.94%. The area codes were 47 (Joinville) with 0.24% and 48 (Florianópolis) with 0.23%.

 

 

The impact of competition in fixed telephony portability

 

Despite portability in fixed telephony has being more used than in mobile telephony, it's yet in an inferior level in comparison with what is observed in Spain and Portugal.

 

One of the factors that contributed to reduce the use of portability in fixed telephony is the lack of an alternative operator in most part of the cities in the interior of the country. In Area Codes where there is a bigger competition in fixed telephony portability is more used.

 

 

Area Codes
States
Main City
Monthly churn of Portability - Fixed Tel.
Market share Authorized*
61
DF/GO
Brasília
1.00%
21.1%
27
ES
Vitória
0.53%
17.1%
41
PR
Curitiba
0.53%
27.7%
71
BA
Salvador
0.47%
12.3%
54
RS
Caxias do Sul
0.43%
15.6%
45
PR
Foz do Iguaçú
0.43%
20.0%
67
MS
Campo Grande
0.40%
15.7%

* Dec/08 (Anatel)

 

Embratel and GVT are the operators which are getting more benefit from portability in fixed telephony. GVT declared in its 1Q09 report that the company holds 38% of the total of fixed portability requests in the accumulated until March 2009.

 

You could ask:

  • Is the use of portability in Brazil lower than expected? Why?
  • What company is being benefited with number portability?
  • Who is interested in keeping the phone number?
  • Are the contracts with loyalty clauses (fine) responsible for the low rate of portability use in mobile telephony?
  • Can promotions like "test drive" increase portability rate?

  • Why would a prepaid client use portability instead of acquiring a new phone number through promotions?

 

To send us a commentary, click on: teleco@teleco.com.br

 

Please let us know if you authorize the publication of your commentary.

 

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