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Telefonica : Telefónica Rolls Out New Service In Mexico's Mobile Market

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02/09/2016 | 11:23pm CEST
By Anthony Harrup 

MEXICO CITY--Spain's Telefónica SA, Mexico's second-largest wireless carrier, said Tuesday it would give subscribers more control over their phone plans, a sign that competition in the country's mobile market is heating up.

The service, called Movistar On, was launched using technology that allows users to manage their plans at any time from their smartphones.

Unlike traditional plans, the system gives prepaid users the ability to assign phone credit to minutes of airtime, broadband usage and messaging based on their individual needs. Users can also choose from a number of preset arrangements.

The rollout comes amid increased competition in Mexico's mobile market following the entry last year of AT&T Inc., which bought two wireless operators for $4.4 billion and began enticing consumers with cross-border benefits. Mobile-service prices in Mexico tumbled almost 17% in 2015.

Telefónica said it expects the service to encourage further adoption of smartphones among its clients. Currently, 40% of its wireless subscribers have the devices, almost double the percentage from a year ago.

Telefónica has enlisted ItsOn Inc., based in Redwood City, Calif., to provide a cloud-based platform. Subscribers can log in with an app and top up their plans at any time using a variety of payment methods, said ItsOn Chief Executive Greg Raleigh.

Conversely, subscribers can also switch to cheaper packages and have unused credit applied to their new plan. "They will know exactly what they used their balance on and pay for what they really use," Telefónica said in a news release.

The ItsOn platform is already used in the U.S. by Sprint Corp., and ItsOn last month signed an agreement with MTN Group, Africa's largest mobile provider. Its deal with Telefónica is the first of its kind in Latin America.

Telefónica had 23.4 million Mexican mobile subscribers at the end of September, behind América Móvil unit Telcel, which had 73 million. AT&T ended last year with 8.7 million subscribers in Mexico.

Mr. Raleigh predicts that in coming years network quality and price-per-megabyte will become less important factors in differentiating between mobile providers.

"With parity on coverage and quality, you want to be more friendly," he said.

Write to Anthony Harrup at [email protected]

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Financials (€)
Sales 2017 52 421 M
EBIT 2017 6 691 M
Net income 2017 3 792 M
Debt 2017 48 174 M
Yield 2017 4,34%
P/E ratio 2017 12,53
P/E ratio 2018 10,99
EV / Sales 2017 1,80x
EV / Sales 2018 1,75x
Capitalization 46 046 M
Duration : Period :
Telefonica Technical Analysis Chart | TEF | ES0178430E18 | 4-Traders
Technical analysis trends TELEFONICA
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 35
Average target price 10,4 €
Spread / Average Target 14%
EPS Revisions
José María Álvarez-Pallete López Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Ángel Vilá Boix Co-Vice Chairman & Chief Operating Officer
Alejandro Ramos Chief Information Security Officer
Isidro Fainé Casas Co-Vice Chairman
Antonio Massanell Lavilla Director
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
TELEFONICA3.08%54 712
ORANGE-3.74%44 519