Oi and Tim have the biggest prepaid participation in mobile base


The participation of prepaid cell phone in the total of mobile phones in Brazil is gradually increasing quarter after quarter. It went from 81.1% in the 3rd quarter of 2008 (3Q08) to 82.2% in 3Q09.


Oi and Tim are the main responsible for this prepaid growth in Brazil. The prepaid participation in Tim's cellular base increased from 80.6% in 3Q08 to 84.1% in 3Q09.



Oi, which had already gotten prepaid percentage of about 84%, grew in market share along this period with aggressive promotions for prepaid segment in the state of São Paulo.


Oi and Tim gained market share in prepaid segment, however, they are still behind Vivo and Claro.



Tim lost participation in post paid, its market share fell from 25.6% in 3Q09 to 21.1% in 3Q09.



Oi increased in the prepaid segment, nut 25% of its post paid cell phones (4% of the total) are from controled plans. In those are included "post paid controlled" and also "prepaid controlled", recently launched by Oi. In the plan "Oi controle pré", the month bill won't be sent for the client, but the client authorizes monthly debt from its credit card.


Having a big prepaid cellular base must not be considered as something negative for the operator. For Telcel, which is market share leader in Mexico, 92% of the mobile accesses are prepaid and EBITDA margin reached 55.4% in 3Q09.


A big prepaid base has, however, an impact in operator's churn. While Vivo and Claro presented average monthly of about 2.7% over the last 12 months, this value reached 3.4% for Oi and Tim. In 3Q09, Tim's monthly churn was 3.6% and Oi's 3.8%. Note that Telcel's monthly churn in Mexico is 3.0%.


You could ask:

  • What will be the limit for the prepaid growth in Brazil?
  • Will Brazilian mobile carriers manage their costs in order to get the same margins as Telcel's?
  • Will Tim recover the market share lost in post paid segment?
  • Will Oi and Tim decrease their churn?



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