The number of cellphones in circulation in Brazil totaled 125.8 million at the end of March, up 1.36% from February and 23.2% higher than the same month one year before, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by telecommunications regulator Anatel.
Net additions in the month were 1.69 million. In the first quarter, net additions reached 4.83 million.
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"The strong growth seen 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 may not follow subscriber growth at the same pace. So far, we have not seen this trend, but we will be following close as wireless operators report first quarter results over the next few weeks," 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.