According to Peru’s telecoms watchdog Osiptel, following the merger of Telefónica Móviles Perú and BellSouth’s Peruvian division in 2004, Spain’s Telefónica Móviles now control 68.5% of the country’s mobile market. The enlarged entity’s subscriber base was expected to leap dramatically following the acquisition and secure 70% of the market by the year end, however, rival cellco TIM Perú surprised many by making significant gains over the year to end with a market share of 26.9%, up from 21.4% in December 2003. TIM Perú focused its efforts on adding pre-paid users in the provinces doubling this particular segment from 82,780 to 168,667 in the year. BellSouth, now renamed Comunicaciones Móviles, also added customers but not at a fast enough pace to maintain the gap to TIM. Meanwhile, Nextel del Peru saw its own share of the wireless market dip by half a percentage point to 4.5%. At the end of 2004 there were 4.09 million mobile users in Peru, up 40% year-on-year and translating to a cellular penetration of 14.47%.
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