Bait, Walmart’s virtual mobile operator (MVNO) already has four million prepaid users in Mexico. Although this figure is barely equivalent to a 3% share of a market dominated by Telcel, the MVNO has registered the highest growth among all players operating in the country.
Some thirty MVNOs have, altogether, 6% of the mobile telephony market. Half of this participation is in the hands of Walmart, while Televisa’s Izzi Móvil has 0.2%; Megamobile from Megacable 0.3%. The rest corresponds to other mobile companies such as Pillofon, from youtuber “Luisito Comunica”, or Oxxo Cel, according to estimated figures from the Telconomy consultancy.
Jesús Romo, Director of Telconomy, points out that Bait’s success lies in a combination of attractive rates and gigabyte rewards on each purchase, with Walmart’s geographic coverage in the country.
“It has many points of presence, especially Bodega Aurrera, which helps Bait have greater visibility so that people know the brand, its promotions and hire its services,” he says.
During the second quarter of the year, Bait billed revenues of 609 million pesos and registered an average revenue per user -the so-called ARPU- of 51 pesos.
In the last two years, MVNOs have gained four points of market share, while large operators, such as AT&T, have barely grown one percentage point. Telefónica even lost 3.2 percentage points, according to figures from the consulting firm The Ciu.
Rolando Alamilla, research manager at The Ciu consulting firm, explains that MVNOs, such as Bait, have made their way into the Mexican market thanks to the fact that they understood that they needed added value, compared to large operators, to be relevant.
“If the economy is bad today, users are more open to trying new options that allow them to maximize their income. An OMV tells you: for 200 pesos you will have 20GB, or I will give you GB for consuming. This has convinced many users to migrate there”, he explains.