Which operator will lead Christmas mobile growth?



by Eduardo Tude


Vivo led mobile growth in Brazil in December, Christmas month, in the last three years.



However, this performance is unlikely to be repeated in 2010.


Historically, December is the month with the biggest net adds in the year when cell phones become the most popular Christmas presents. In this scenario, operators sell subsidized handsets, like Vivo, take advantage.



Note: Americel's cell phones corresponds to 13.9% of Claro


Smartphones are on the top of list for Christmas presents for this year, but with the sales of unlocked handsets (which was imposed by Anatel) subsidies may be focused in postpaid.


Vivo's leadership is bigger in this segment. The company leads postpaid growth in Brazil having conquered 57.2% of the net adds in this segment (accumulated from Jan/10 to Oct/10).





However, postpaid represented an average of 10% of the net adds gotten in the December of the last three years.





The leadership in net adds at Christmas will be decided by prepaid performance, segment in which Tim leads with wide margin in 2010.




Summarizing, net adds leadership at Christmas can be conquered by Vivo, Claro or Tim:

  • Vivo is a strong candidate by its performance in previous years, but the company would have to increase its aggressiveness in plans for prepaid and/or offer any subsidized handset for this segment.
  • Claro increased its aggressiveness in oct/10 in face of the reduction of the difference which separates it from Tim (more details). The company has a strong policy for subsidized handsets and may overtake the others by the end of the year.
  • Tim would be the favorite to lead cellular growth at Christmas, but the company has a historical low performance in this month. In December, the operator cleans its mobile base in order to reduce expenses with the annual Fistel payment, which is calculated from the number of mobile accesses in the end of the year.

Finally, Oi is out of the game in 2010, but the company promises to get the to the competition board in 2011.


You could as:

  • Which carrier will lead Christmas mobile growth?
  • Will Vivo increase its promotions for prepaid?
  • Will Claro overtake Tim in December?
  • Will subsidize be important for sales in December?


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Note: The opinions expressed in the published articles in this section are their authors' responsibility.



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