After a brief respite in May, Spain's mobile market resumed its previous 10-month trend of falling subscriber numbers when the country's telecoms regulator reported that the market had shrunk again in June.
According to Reuters, data provided by CMT showed the mobile market shrank by nearly 100,000 mobile lines in June. The total number of mobile connections dropped to 51.9 million from 54.6 million a year earlier.
Telefónica and Vodafone have largely borne the brunt of the declines as cash-strapped Spanish subscribers switch to cheaper offers from lower-cost mobile providers and MVNOs set up by fixed operators, although the total market has also been shrinking because some people have ditched their subscriptions altogether.
Reuters noted that even Yoigo lost 121,900 lines in June, its first major loss this year, causing its market share to decline to 6.5 per cent from 6.7 per cent in May.
Telefónica's Movistar and Vodafone lost 102,440 lines and 90,920 connections respectively. The third-largest player Orange, on the other hand, gained 42,000 connections in June after integrating customers from Simyo, which it acquired from KPN in December.
Reuters added that MVNOs were the primary beneficiaries in June, gaining 195,870 new lines. These companies now account for a 10 per cent share of the market and have been established by fixed-line operators such as Jazztel.
Meanwhile, mobile operators have been fighting back with bundled plans of fixed and mobile services, such as Movistar Fusion. Yoigo has also just signed a deal with Telefónica that would give it access to the incumbent operator's fixed network to give it the option of providing these so-called quad-play plans. In return, Movistar--the only one of Spain's four MNOs without LTE services--would gain access to Yoigo's LTE network.
Orange Spain was unimpressed by the arrangement, however, and has asked competition and government authorities to look into the deal.
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