Telefónica, Vodafone suffer most as 240K Spaniards ditch phones

Spanish cell phone subscribers are cancelling their handset subscriptions as the economic crisis gripping the country worsens. CMT, the country's telecoms regulator, said that 242,000  net mobile connections were dropped in September, the eighth consecutive monthly decline in Spain.

According to CMT, Telefónica's Movistar lost 254,000 customers and Vodafone Spain 178,000. Orange Spain and TeliaSonera's Yoigo both gained customers from their larger rivals during the month, according to Reuters.

"In line with previous months, the declines registered by Movistar and Vodafone were not outweighed by the increases at other mobile operators," the regulator CMT said in a statement carried by Reuters.

However, while September's fall in subscriber connections is larger than the 226,000 connections cancelled in August, it remains substantially below April's record loss of 380,000.

Since September, both Telefónica and Vodafone have been strongly marketing low-cost tariffs in an attempt to combat existing offers from Orange and Yoigo, while Vodafone has reinstated smartphone subsidies after conducting an ill-fated trial of selling the handsets at full price. Telefónica has also withdrawn subsidies, and the company's European head, Eva Castillo, has vowed they will not be reintroduced.

Telefónica is also promoting its quad-play Fusion package, according to Reuters, which has attracted 430,000 customers. However, the company has declined to detail how many came from the company's existing customer base.

For more:
- see this Reuters article

Related Articles:
Vodafone Spain loses 639K customers after dropping handset subsidies
Vodafone Spain unveils budget brand to push back against rivals
Vodafone, FT Orange mull bids for Spain's Yoigo
Spanish operators to suffer 75% cuts to termination rates
Telefónica Spain struggles with churn as market share drops