Prepayment at historic lows: are these rates still valid?
The CNMC confirms that more than 3 million lines of this type have been lost in the last four years or that, just last year, more than half a million prepaid lines have disappeared. With the latest available data, corresponding to February 2019, out of the 53.3 million active mobile lines, only 10.9 were prepaid. It is the first time that they fall below 11 million.
Since 2005, prepaid lines have not stopped falling. In 2015, we had 14 million prepaid lines and 36 million contractual lines. Today, in 2019, 10.9 million customers are paid in advance and 42 million contracts. The explosion of convergent offers has been decisive as they include contract lines (more than once on several occasions).
Another factor that has not helped prepayment is the legal lapse of anonymity that these lines had under the Data Retention Act in electronic communications. Permanence is not an excuse either, as rates reserved for mobile devices do not generally impose this type of obligation on customers.
If we enter already to see the rates, there is no color between the advance payment and the contract at the minute level, data to navigate or additional services. If we add that many require a monthly recharge to provide the benefits, there is little left (if any).
As a result, prepayment will continue to decline and operators will continue to focus on improving contract rates, which are the most demanded by customers.