A telecoms analyst with one of the most active brokerages in the sector reckons the tariff increase just granted to the incumbent local exchange carriers will be swallowed up by a projected 5% fall in telephone traffic in the next six months and by rising customer delinquencies.
In the longer term (from 2005 on), the increase will be diluted by the terms of the new license, which entail significantly lower interconnection rates. Equity analysts therefore shouldn?t raise target prices for telco stocks in line with the tariff review, this source concludes.
However, two unknowns will eventually have to be factored into the projections, she goes on. It?s impossible to quantify the effect of the switch from pulses to minutes in customer bills; and it would seem that so-called regulatory risk, i.e. government intervention, has increased. ?In practice the effect of the tariff reset may even be moderately negative, producing an improvement now but leading to a deterioration later on,? the analyst warns.
Several lawsuits have been filed in different states against the local telephone tariff increase just granted by Anatel. Preliminary estimates suggest the number of suits filed may have reached ten.