Assessment (anticipated) about 2009: A difficult year for the sector
New year coming, so it's time to evaluate 2009 results. We're anticipating in the following an analysis over the most relevant issues along 2009.
2009 was a tough year for the Brazilian telecommunication sector. According to Teleco's poll 50 percent considered that 2009 was a great/good year, this result was lower than the 73 percent reached in 2008 and the 69 percent in 2007. On the other hand, it was superior than 43 percent gotten in 2006.
Among the main services, only Pay TV presented higher growth (net adds) when compared with previous years.
Note: Teleco's forecasts for 2009
The world financial crisis affected the growth of main operators that adopted more conservative strategies, mainly in the first semester of 2009.
In mobile services, monthly net adds in 2009 surpassed 2008's only in May and July. December/09 is overcoming, in about 1 million mobile accesses, Dec/08. Eventually, year is likely to end up counting net adds of 24 million mobile accesses, in line with Teleco's projections.
The fact that the Brazil has a less mature mobile market also contributed for this growth. Brazil, country that surpassed in March/09 the density of 80 cell/100 inhabitants, is likely to close the year with superior density (90 cell/100 inhab.).
Growth was stronger in pre paid base, which may close 2009 representing 82.4% of the mobile accesses, against 81.5% in 2008. The minutes promotions for reduced prices for calls among cell phones of the same operator has stimulated the ownership of more than one mobile lines (chip) by user. A survey carried out by Teleco in the cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre, showed that 16% of the mobile users have 2 or more chips.
After the merger of Brasil Telecom by Oi, the mobile competition in Brazil is now between four companies (Vivo, Claro, Tim and Oi) all of them have national coverage.
- Oi was the only operator to gain market share in 2009. It led growth in Brazil in the first semester and in São Paulo during the whole year. The company started to lose, however, market share in the second semester, when presented low growth in its region of origin (Region I) and in BrT's former region (Region II).
- Vivo presented good performance in the second semester and is likely to close the year as leader in net adds (more details). Vivo presented, along the whole year, the best performance in most of the 7 indexes followed by Teleco (more details).
- Claro, which was leader in net adds in 2008 and 2007, didn't repeat this performance in 2009.
- Tim began the year by cleaning its clients base of 1 million mobile accesses and recovered part of the lost market share with the launch of the Infinity Plans, in which the user pays only for the first minute of the call. 2009's results will be important to point Tim's future (more details).
Despite this climate, operators kept at levels similar to those presented in 2008.
Despite the big discussion over the importance of broadband for the country, fixed broadband presented in 2009 lower growth if compared with previous years. It had its growth affected by the stoppage of Speedy sales determined by Anatel due to the service crashes. Net continued to grow more than other operators and overcame Telefonica in 3Q09.
Mobile broadband (3G) presented stronger growth and is likely to close 2009 with about 8 million accesses, against 2.1 million in 2008. Vivo and Claro are the operators benefited by the growth of this service.
In the fixed telephony, the index for "fixed accesses in service" presented positive growth due to the Embratel and GVT, CLECs that stimulated by number portability became available in the whole country since March 2009.
The good performance in Pay TV should to be credited to Net, with its triple play offer and also to Telefonica, Oi and Embratel that started to offer Pay TV via satellite (DTH).
Highlights of the year
The following facts must be highlighted in the year:
- The purchase of GVT by Vivendi. It's about a new big international player that starts to compete in the Brazilian telecommunication market (more details).
- The merger of Brasil Telecom by Oi, consolidating Oi as one of the main telecom groups in Brazil.
- The availability of number portability in all the country since March 2009. Despite the use has been lower than expected, it represents a great benefit for those who want to keep the phone number after exchanging operator.
If these were the highlights, there were also segments that marked 2009, such as Digital TV, Wimax and the changes in Pay TV (those should be regulated by PL29).
You could ask:
- Was 2009 a good year for the telecommunication sector in Brazil?
- What can we expect from 2010?
- How will be the new competitive climate in 2010, by the entrance of Vivendi?
- Will Anatel execute the H Band auction for 3G in 2010?
- Will the MVNOs arrival rock 2010?
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