Spain reverses trend as CMT reports mobile subscriber growth in May 2013

18 Jul 2013

Having reported ten consecutive months of decline in the country’s wireless subscriber numbers, Spanish telecoms regulator the Comision del Mercado de las Telecomunicacinoes (CMT) has published data showing growth in May 2013. Overall, the wireless sector saw an increase in accesses of 31,326 against the end of the previous month, with post-paid additions of 97,187 helping to offset the loss of 20,356 connections in the pre-paid segment. The number of datacard subscriptions, meanwhile, fell by 45,505 between end-April 2013 and end-May 2013. Despite the positive development, subscriber numbers (including machine-to-machine connections) remain some way off where they stood a year ago, with the CMT noting that the 55.034 million total represented a 4.2% year-on-year decline.

In terms of individual operator performance, the CMT revealed that of the country’s four cellcos only Yoigo actually saw customer growth in the month to end-May 2013, though it added just 6,990 subscribers in that period. Movistar and Vodafone Spain fared less well, reportedly seeing wireless accesses decline by 199,050 and 57,620 respectively, while Orange Espana’s base was relatively stable, the cellco seeing a net loss of just 250 subscribers. The big winners however were Spain’s mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), which between them added 281,250 new subscribers.

Intense competition between operators, the CMT noted, was reflected in statistics for mobile number portability (MNP); May 2013 saw the second-highest number of customers switching provider this year, with 593,633 requests to change, up 80.3% y-o-y.