February 23, 2011
America Móvil reported results for Q4 2010 that show the company has managed to sustain its profit margins despite penetrating lower-income segments and focusing on data services that are more expensive to serve. For the full year of 2010, EBITDA margins were 40.7% compared with 41.2% for 2009. Revenues rose 7.1% to PS608m where equipment revenue rose 12.5%, meaning that the company is doing a great job in selling higher-end devices to customers — which carry more value-added services — and also that the company is staying away from subsidizing low-end devices where there is low differentiation, low consumer loyalty and where you rarely get a positive net present value.
For Mexico, the postpaid base increased at a rapid pace — three times as fast as its prepaid base — and, consistently, data revenue jumped almost 30% compared with the same period in 2009. This means more data hungry devices such as smartphones and data cards, while bringing stabilization to ARPS. As we forecast in our Mexico Mobile Data Forecast in Q4 2010, MOUs continue to rise as a result of fixed to mobile substitution and lower tariffs. For Telcel, MOUs in Q4 2010 were 219, a 10% rise from last year.
With mobile penetration in the region close to 100%, mobile operators will have to be very careful in deploying scarce resources to 3G+ networks and equipment subsidies going forward. Claro, like Telefónica, will have the opportunity to enter the last regional market to liberalize its telecommunications: Costa Rica. As we discussed in our recent Insider “ Telefónica and Claro Spice Up Costa Rican Telecom Market,” Costa Rica offers significant opportunities for both operators, and even state player ICE, since penetration remains well below its potential and the country is in its early stages of transformation from a voice-centric to a data-centric market. With its large footprint and know-how, Claro is well positioned to benefit from its investment and continue growing its overall portfolio.
— Jose Magana, Senior Analyst
Latin America Mobile Data Forecast
Forecasts published quarterly
Our Mobile Data Forecast products provide complete pictures of demand trends for 19 geographical markets in Latin America. The Excel output includes five years of historical data and five years of market projections for metrics such as penetration, mobile subscriptions (by type of package, by operator or MVNO and by network technology), users of specific data services (SMS, music, etc.), MOU, ARPS (by operator, by subscription type, by service, by application) and revenue (by messaging and non-messaging applications). The Forecasts are based on extensive field research and use a consistent methodology, aiming to capture the total spending on mobile data services in each market. Data from these Forecasts is available online for subscribers to our DataTracker service.
Telefonica and Claro Spice Up Costa Rican Telecom Market
Telecom Insider published February 2011
This Insider analyzes the future of the Costa Rican market, now that Claro and Movistar will compete against ICE, in light of what we have seen in other markets where those players participate and how we expect ICE to respond. This report will also examine how consumers will be affected since the market will have just three players and not four as expected. Cases will analyze the success of a state-owned player and other new entrant scenarios in Central America.