Mexicans buy fewer smartphones, but MVNOs gain ground

The drops were primarily seen in equipment sold, both due to the pandemic and the shortage of chips.

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May 26, 2021 2 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Telecommunications in Mexico and Latin America continue to face the effects of the pandemic. A recent study by The CIU showed that the revenues of Telcel, Movistar and AT&T continue to decline.

According to the study, Telcel contracted 3.9% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020; Movistar cut 7.7%, while AT&T showed a decline of 8.1 percent.

According to The CIU, the falls were primarily in equipment sold, both due to the pandemic and the shortage of chips.

People buy fewer cell phones

Despite this drop in profits, Carlos Slim’s cell phone brand continues to be the public’s favorite if we only talk about service income, since it barely showed a 0.2% drop, while AT&T contracted 3.8% and Movistar 11.3 percent.

However, due to the economic crisis derived from the SARSCov2 pandemic, two of the three most important cell phone brands in Mexico faced significant losses: Telcel of 11.1% and AT&T of 16.7%. On the contrary, Movistar increased its sales by 3.8 percent.

MVNOs are gaining more and more ground

The CIU report produced very significant data: Mobile Virtual Operators (MVNOs) – cell phone service providers without their own infrastructure – added 1.6 million new lines, while Telcel only had 1.1 million. In contrast, AT&T lost 177,000 lines and Movistar 421,000.

This means a 98.7% increase in your income and a 69.9% increase in the number of lines in a year. It should be clarified that with all this, MVNOs are just a piece of 3.1% lines but only 0.90% in income.