Mexicans buy less mobile data

¿Adiós a los datos móviles y recargas? En México pagamos cada vez menos

In Mexico, connectivity services have taken on a more important role in people’s daily lives after the health emergency caused by the pandemic. But despite this, in the last three years consumers have begun to reduce their spending on telephone recharges and mobile data plans.

At the end of 2023, Mexicans spent an average of 155.4 pesos for a mobile recharge, which means a reduction of 11.9%, compared to the 176.5 pesos they spent in 2020, according to data from the National Survey on Availability and Use of Information Technologies in Homes (ENDUTIH).

This situation was also reflected in telephone plans. At the end of last year, users paid 439.6 pesos for this service, a reduction of 11.7% compared to the 498.3 pesos that consumers paid in 2020.

Radamés Camargo, an analyst at the consulting firm The Ciu, explained that the decrease in spending on mobile services may be associated with the new unlimited data offers that telecommunications operators have launched in the last four years.

Telcel, AT&T and Telefónica have launched telephone plans based mainly on a larger data basket at a lower price, while Virtual Mobile Operators (MVNOs) offer unlimited data on telephone recharges. The purpose of the strategy is to attract and retain its subscriber base, because the pandemic changed people’s consumption habits where they have now begun to prioritize spending only on certain essential products.

“The unlimited data offers offered by MVNOs and the increase in data in the plans of the major operators have become a great attraction for users because they have translated into accessing more data for a lower price and it is a perception that exists out there that now less is paid for a service that you use more and more,” says the analyst in an interview.

Added to this factor is the hybrid work model, that is, where users connect through home networks, offices, and even open networks that have been enabled in recent years, which brings with it a lower need to spend on data.

Both premises are reinforced by users. Eduardo S. explained to this media that last year he acquired a telephone plan with unlimited data to access all his social networks for which he pays 490 pesos per month. But he has discovered that the amount of data that his company has enabled for him is excessive and now he is looking to move to a cheaper plan.

“I have realized that I never use up my data because I am always connected in the office or at home and I am not sure if the megabytes I have left at the end of the month accumulate or simply disappear. This has made me think that I will change to a cheaper plan now that the year is up or even cancel the contract,” Eduardo S. comments in an interview.

Something similar happens with Tere Hernández. She is a user of the prepaid segment. She pays a 100 pesos recharge to her phone each month, but in the last year she has seen “that there is no need to spend so much on recharges,” because she has discovered that the 50 pesos subscriptions come with a “good” amount of mobile data.

“That data bag lasts me a good time and I have complemented it with the open networks that exist in the streets or with the internet at work. I think I do not need to spend so much on recharges to be connected,” Tere tells Expansión.

Source: expansion