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 Wednesday, March 19, 2008

SAO PAULO -(Dow Jones)- The number of cellphones in circulation in Brazil totaled 124.1 million at the end of February, up 1% from January and 22.7% higher than the same month one year before, according to preliminary figures released late Monday by telecommunications regulator Anatel.

"In our view, the strong growth we've seen so far in 2008 is due at least in part to the practice of selling multiple subscriber identity module, or SIM, cards per subscriber, which artificially inflates the number of wireless subscribers and net additions," Morgan Stanley said in a research report. "As a result, we believe revenues and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, growth will not follow subscriber growth," it added.

Brazil's main operator are Vivo Participacoes, which is jointly owned by Spain's Telefonica and Portugal Telecom; TIM Participacoes, the local unit of Telecom Italia and Claro, the local unit of Mexico's America Movil.

Source: Cellular News.