It seems that the peace in the Spanish telecommunications market did not last long. For those “shy” comebacks that have been registering promotions and discounts, a new surge has now been added to the phone company’s changes, which last March reached their highest level in a year after Digi announced a record level of portability. was established.
According to data published by the National Competitive Market Commission (CNMC), there were a total of 780,025 operator changes in March 2023. Portability is up 21.4% compared to February, when it peaked at 642,275, although it is still 5.8% below 2022 levels.
The March 2023 data is the highest since 2022 was registered in the same month, even surpassing the figures for September and October 2022, when 775,442 and 709,891 operator changes were recorded respectively.
[Las operadoras cambian las subidas por “tímidas” promociones que abren la puerta a otra guerra de precio]
This comparison is relevant, as September and October are months that traditionally have greater competition within the telecommunications sector, and consequently greater portability, given that it coincides with ‘back to school’ and the start of soccer season. coincides with
March is also the third consecutive month in which portability has increased in Spain and is far from the minimum recorded last December. In the last month of 2022, there were 552,396 operator changes, the lowest level since August 2015, except during the months of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the practice was restricted to avoid personal contact.
Notably, mobile phone portability again exceeded 600,000 company changes in March 2023 to 610,108, something that hadn’t happened for twelve months. That’s down 2.9% from a year ago, but up 20.8% from 505,101 in February.
In case of fixed telephony, portability increased to 170,097 lines in the third month of the year, which is 24% higher than the previous month, but 14.6% lower than March 2022.
By operators, data published by CNMC shows a clear dominance of virtual mobile operators (MVNOs) when it comes to stealing customers from its rivals, led by Digi, with the best portability data in the Romanian company’s history for March 2023 got closed. in spain.
Notably, our group of MVNOs operating in the country registered a positive net portability balance of 89,794 in the third month of the year. Only MásMovil Group also closed March with positive figures, although the 11,960 users it acquired are far less than those added by virtual operators.
CNMV doesn’t break out the figures for each MVNO, but it’s not hard to guess that Digi is the main person responsible for all this cool data. The company said on Monday that a total of 289,700 customers transferred their mobile and fixed lines to the company in the first quarter.
In pure terms, it recorded its best-ever portability data in March, with 95,200 lines, up 36% from the previous year. Specifically, more than 76,700 corresponded to net portability of mobile telephony, an increase of more than 33% from a year ago.
In contrast, the three traditional operators in the Spanish market have once again recorded another month of negative portability balances. Specifically, Movistar lost 9,572 customers in March 2023, while Orange lost 26,670 users and Vodafone 65,512 lines.
These portability data have seen the big three companies progressively lose market share in recent years. Thus, in mobile telephony, Movistar, Orange and Vodafone represented 71.7% of total lines in March 2023, down 1.7 percentage points from 73.4% a year earlier.
[Telefónica, Orange y Vodafone pierden hasta 7,4 puntos de cuota de mercado en solo dos años en pleno auge de Digi]
In the case of fixed broadband, the market share loss recorded in one year is even higher. Thus, 75.1% of total lines were concentrated in the three largest operators in the Spanish market, which is three percentage points less than 78.1% in March 2022.
While it is difficult to predict how portability will develop in the coming months, there are already voices such as Meinrad Spranger, CEO of Grupo Massamobil, who predict that price-based competition will increase in the Spanish market in the coming weeks.
This also includes the possibility that, as usual with the start of LaLiga, there will be more promotional activity in the summer months, as reported by Kelisto.com. All this may mean that in the coming months we will again see a new surge in telephone operator changes.