Brazil’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers TIM Participaçoes hopes to entice users to use its services in preference to their existing landlines, as a means to increase traffic. The unit, which is backed by Italy’s Telecom Italia, is introducing a new service offering 200 minutes of voice calls from the user’s home for BRL29.90 (USD13.84), roughly 25% less than current fixed line call plans. ‘Consumers know that a mobile-to-mobile call is cheaper than a fixed-to-mobile call. Now they will discover that also that a mobile-to-fixed call will cost less than a fixed-to-fixed call when calling from a predetermined geographical base, the company’s marketing director Marco Lopes told Dow Jones Newswires. The new plan will also be extended to TIM’s business customers
Like many of Brazil’s incumbent cellcos, TIM Participaçoes has been engaged in a price war with its rivals for the past year, but the battle has only resulted in reducing average revenues per user. The company is now targeting the customers of fixed line incumbents Telecomunicacoes de Sao Paulo (Telesp), Telemar, and Brasil Telecom. According to official figures from Anatel, the number of Brazilian households with a fixed line only dropped by 12.5% in 2005, while the number of people with only a mobile phone grew to 23.6% in 2005, up from 7.8% in 2001.