Edition 42, Marketing

Online Performance of Mobile Phone Services in Mexico

By: Edmundo Ramírez

Agustín Castañeda

Master Research

According to Master Research, Telcel’s website generates 1,290,000 visitors, or hits, per month, followed by Nextel with 402,000, Movistar with 396,000, Iusacel with 260,000 and Unefon with 95,000.

Comparative data from March 2011 to March 2012 indicate that Nextel was the operator with the greatest increase in the number of hits, with an increase of 95%, whereas Telcel fell by 16.5% and Movistar by 22%.

The mobile phone market in Mexico is composed of five service operators: Telcel, Nextel, Movistar, Iusacell and Unifon. Telcel is the leader with 68 percent of the market share. The number of lines that correspond to the pre-paid option stands at 84 million, while the mixed rate scheme totals 2.9 million lines.

There has been a transformation in communication needs. This change is reflected in the increase in the number of smartphones sold at the end of the first quarter of 2012, which reached 3.8 million. By the end of this year, this figure is expected to increase by 78%, which represents an increase of 9 million above the 5.08 million sold in 2011.

Digital Intelligence, the market research division of the firm Master Research, developed an analysis of user interaction on the electronic websites of the five cell phone operators in the country. Telcel is the company with the greatest amount of traffic a month, with 1,29000 hits, followed by Nextel, with 402,000, Movistar, with 396,000, Iusacell, with 260,000 and Unefon, with 95,000 hits per month. However, the users of Movistar stay longer on the site – an average of 27.3 minutes per user per month. The users of Iusacell stay 12.6 minutes and Telcel customers remain only 10.1 minutes.

Table 1 compares the cell phone service companies operating in Mexico: Telcel, Nextel, Movistar, Iusacell and Unefon, from March 2011 to March 2012.

Table 1. Competition of operators on the Internet

Edmundo Ramírez, director of Master Research, says, “The research that we conduct in the area of Digital Intelligence shows us the profile of the users who visit the operators’ electronic sites. The majority of users are between 15 and 24 years of age, a group that seeks to obtain better equipment. For that reason, information is provided about the characteristics and functions of the different options, in addition to focusing much more on multimedia communication.”

Nextel is unlike the other operators because it is directed toward the business segment, and for that reason the average age of its visitors is between 25 and 34 years, which differs from that of Telcel, Iusacell, Movistar and Unefon. In addition, the age range of most people who interact and relate to the Nextel site is between 45 and 54 years, while for the rest of the competitors it is between 25 and 34 years.

After analyzing and comparing the number of hits in March 2012 to those in March 2011, the area of Digital Intelligence of Master Research found that Nextel was the operator with the greatest increase in the number of visitors – an increase of 95%, followed by Unefon, with 90%, and Iusacell, with 20%. On the other hand, the companies that presented a drop in the number of visitors were Telcel, which fell by 16.5% and Movistar, by 22%.

Table 2. Annual trend of visitors by portal, March 2011 to March 2012.

El equipo de Digital Intelligence de Master Research midió la conversación, la influencia y el tono en las redes sociales. En el caso de las compañías de telefonía móvil, se encontraron los siguientes resultados al 30 de abril de 2012:

The team at Digital Intelligence of Master Research measured the conversation, influence and tone in social networks. In the case of the cell phone companies, they found the following results, up to April 30, 2012:

FACEBOOK. According to the Socialbakers website, in Mexico there are 32,950,780 Facebook users, making it the fifth country with the largest number of subscribers. The penetration in the population is 29.30%.

  • Telcel has a fan page with a list of 434,659 “likes,” and has specialized pages on various topics and services like: Ideas Telcel (3,359 “likes”), Rockampeonato Telcel (5,3520 “likes”), Círculo Azul (5,818 “likes”), Equipo Telcel (1,443 “likes”), Servicio Telcel (459 “likes”) and WWF_Telcel (1,707 “likes”).
  • Nextel, after its change of image, had 301,000 “likes” on its main fan page. It promotes the benefits of its products through Nextel City, with 612 “likes,” and uploads cultural content with Theater Nextel Del Parque with 1,539 “likes.”
  • Movistar has 190,249 “likes” generating dynamics for its fans. It is the third cell phone company with the most movement on this network.
  • Iusacell has a total of 120,890 fans (“likes”) on its site. It also has a page dedicated to business, which highlights the fiber optic network called Iusacell Link, with 8,702 “likes.”
  • Unefón has 10,308 “likes” on Facebook. There was no other alternative page in this social network.


Twitter, the network with 140 characters, recorded 10.7 million accounts in Mexico. In addition, according to Ramírez, in this study we used Klout to know the degree of influence of the cell phone companies’ accounts.

In social networks, Telcel is the company with the largest number of followers on Twitter and “likes” on Facebook, and has a degree of influence of 66. This company changed its advertising strategy more than a year ago and has channeled the budget allocated to television stations to other media, including social networks.

Nextel comes in second place on Facebook and third in the number of followers on Twitter, with a degree of influence of 58.

Movistar is an interesting case because its activity on Facebook puts it in third place in “likes;” on the other hand, its official account on Twitter only has 8,130 followers, unlike its customer service account that has 43,741.

“Applying the research of Digital Intelligence provides an opportunity to learn about the trends of user online behavior. In addition, it helps to create better marketing strategies and involvement that is appropriate to the needs of the client, as well as to detect hot spots, like brief navigation time, decrease in the number of hits on the website, and the navigation path of our visitors, among others,” Ramírez said.

*Social network data updated to April 30, 2012.

Master Research, the market research firm with two decades of experience, is known for its loyalty to its customers, who define it as a highly reliable company for its competence and involvement in the business of its clients, its research processes aligned since 2004 with quality and ethical standards of the Mexican Association of Market Research and Public Opinion, which was awarded in 2005 the Service Standard for Market Research in Mexico certificate 2.0. Master Research is the pioneer in the development of methodology of competitive benchmarking in Mexico and invests in the training of its staff to keep it always in the forefront. Master Research has a presence on @MasterResearch, and Facebook/MasterResearch, and generates useful information for its followers.

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