Telesp Celular, the largest wireless operator in Brazil, has seen a dramatic increase in third-quarter net losses as it strives to win market share. The company, which is part of the Telefónica/Portugal Telecom joint venture Vivo, reported a net loss of BRL152.9 million in the three months to the end of September, up from BRL69 million in the same period last year. The firm has not reported a profit for almost four years.
Telesp Celular has been lowering handset costs to win subscribers in the fiercely competitive Brazilian market. It gained 833,000 new customers in the third quarter, 5.8% more than in 3Q2003. The rise in subscriber numbers helped increase sales from BRL1.73 billion to BRL1.83 billion. Telesp Celular and its sister companies which make up the Vivo group had a total of 23.51 million customers at the end of June, up from 20.66 million at the start of the year.