EconomyFinancialGoodbye Telcel: 40 thousand Mexicans change their plan for...

Goodbye Telcel: 40 thousand Mexicans change their plan for recharges due to inflation

Inflationary pressure in Mexico began to have an effect on telecommunications. América Móvil reported a drop of 39,000 postpaid lines to close with 14,519 million users during the first quarter of this year. A drop of 0.3% from the 14,558 million lines reported in the same period last year.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, América Móvil’s postpaid segment has registered a decrease. In 2021 it closed with 14,537 million lines, from the 14,553 million it had at the end of 2020.

Jesús Romo, director of the Telconomía consultancy, explains that the first quarter was complicated for telephone companies because users were tempted to change their plans or leave them, “but the losses reported by América Móvil during the first three months of this year are associated with the financial uncertainty that exists in the country”.

Experts consider that the environment of economic uncertainty that has been developing since the pandemic, and that continues now with inflation, has changed the consumption behavior of users, who are becoming more cautious in their spending. People avoid joining a postpaid plan that forces them to pay a monthly payment. That is why the prepayment has increased.

“Users have a lot of uncertainty, they do not know if tomorrow they will have a job, if they will be paid, if there will be a cut in personnel or if the basic basket is going to continue to become more expensive and you are going to have to prioritize health and food for above connectivity services”, says Rolando Alamilla, market research manager for The Ciu consulting firm.

At the end of 2021, in Mexico there are 132.4 million mobile lines, of which 82.8% are under the recharge scheme and only 17.2% in the postpaid scheme, according to data from the consulting firm The Ciu.

Another factor that inhibits the activation of postpaid plans is the mobile equipment that, in general, is associated with acquiring a telephone plan. Analysts assure that another change of habit that the pandemic brought is to increase the time of use of mobile devices, since before, in less than a year, users acquired a new device, but now it has grown to almost 26 months and they foresee that it may increase. the replacement term.

“Postpaid lines have not been able to recover since the pandemic and prepaid lines are at a historic point because they allow users to have expense accounting,” says Romo.

5G unattractive

América Móvil assures that the launch of 5G postpaid plans will allow it to increase its income by growing its Average Revenue per User (ARPU); however, analysts consider that this plan could be encouraged after the migration of users to the prepaid scheme.

For experts, users for now do not consider it attractive to adhere to a 5G plan for which they would have to purchase not only a monthly rent, but also telephone equipment that is suitable for the fifth generation of networks.

To access 5G it will be necessary to acquire smartphones that in the country have a price ranging from 4,999 to 20,000 pesos. Even more expensive. “Users who don’t yet have 5G-enabled devices are going to have less of an incentive to purchase a plan that offers 5G,” says Alamilla.

Users who currently have a plan, says Romo, what they are looking for is to adjust to a monthly rent that is more affordable to continue browsing and downloading data.

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