Venezuela's mobile sales fall by 40%

Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 03-01-2014

Venezuela's financial situation has led to a fall of nearly 40% in mobile phones sales compared to 2012.
According to El Mundo, the mobile distributors said the cause was a lack of offer as demand is between eight to ten million devices per year.

The currency instability and tax changes have radically slowed technology imports, affecting many industries. A few months ago, Inter's CEO Eduardo Stigol said that pay-TV operators were having the same problem importing set-top boxes (STBs).

According to El Mundo's research, Venezuelans want smartphones, which already make up 30% of the whole mobile market in the country. However, mobile sales are far below the 12 million devices registered in 2007, and distributors calculate that around six million devices were sold in 2013.

Around half of the offer was supplied by Movilnet, which works with national productions through the companies Vtelca and Orinoquia. The rest of the devices were sold by Movistar (35%) and Digitel (15%).

The distributors have sold all the devices they had in 2013: nearly 60% mid- and low-end, 10% smartphones and 30% feature phones with Internet connection.

A huge percentage of the sales (around 70%) was usually carried out in the open market from telcos, but the import difficulties have almost stopped the business in this area as well.