Portugal sees 2nd quarter decline of 0.8% in number of mobile stations

/ Updated on 30.09.2011

ANACOM has reported that there were around 16.32 million active mobile stations associated with post-paid, pre-paid and combined/hybrid tariff plans in Portugal as at the end of the second quarter of 2011. This represents a decline of 0.8% compared to the previous quarter.

Out of this total, about 13.1 million stations (80.5%) registered actual use in the last month of the quarter - a drop of 0.9 percentage points compared to the previous quarter.

If cards/modems used for mobile broadband Internet access are excluded, the number of active mobile stations/user devices registering actual use was around 12 million, about 71 thousand fewer than in the previous quarter.

Over the period, pre-paid plans accounted for 71.4% of mobile stations. With the exception of combined/hybrid plans, all other plans reported significant declines – in line with or exceeding the decline reported in the number of mobile stations.

As at the end of June, penetration of the mobile service was reported at 153.4 per 100 inhabitants. According to the Barómetro de Telecomunicações - Redes Móveis (Telecommunications Barometer - Mobile Networks) from Marktest, 92.6% of residents in Portugal were customers of this service. The difference between these values is due to several factors, for example: there are users who have more than one card to access the service, there are SIM cards used exclusively for data services and Internet access, and others used in machines, equipment, vehicles and companies (e.g. automated teller machine using the mobile network, alarm equipment, security, telemetry and telematics, etc...).

In the period being reported, there were around 10.4 million (eligible) users using broadband services. Meanwhile, the number of active users who actually used services with 3rd generation characteristics (i.e. video-telephony, broadband data transmission, mobile TV, etc...) declined by 0.9% compared to the previous quarter comprising around 3.9 million users.

Users who are eligible to use broadband services (UMTS/HSPA) represent 63.7% of active mobile stations, while active users constitute 29.5% of total mobile stations with actual use.

Of the total number of users of broadband services registering actual traffic in the last month of the reported period, about 30.4% were users of mobile broadband Internet access services with cards/modem.

In the period being reported, around 5.4 billion minutes of conversation were originated on mobile networks, in line with the previous quarter and increasing by 9.5% compared to the same period of 2010. The main factor driving this trend is the launch of plans that allow free calls between subscribers. Since the launch of these plans, the weight of on-net traffic has increased by 10.5 percentage points and now represents 79.6% of total traffic.

Meanwhile, 5.4 billion minutes were terminated on mobile networks, a figure which is also in line with the previous quarter. However, fixed to mobile traffic increased by 7.2% over the previous quarter, reversing the downward trend of recent quarters.

More than 6.6 billion text messages were sent during the quarter – an increase of 2.2% over the previous quarter and an increase of 0.5% year-on-year.

21.8 million of these messages were value-added messages - about 0.3% of all SMS sent.

On average 300 messages were sent by each user of this service per month (302 in 2Q10), representing close to 10 messages per day.

Users of the text messaging service represent, on average, about 61% of total mobile stations with actual use, excluding Internet access cards.

Mobile users also sent 35.4 million MMS during the quarter, 0.4% more than in the previous quarter. In year-on-year terms, growth reached 16.8%.

During the same period there were around 847 thousand video-calls, 4.5% fewer than in the previous quarter. This is the fifth consecutive quarter of decline in the volume of such calls with a year-on-year decline of 44.3%.

The mobile TV service was reported as having 39.5 thousand users, the lowest level since data on this indicator was first compiled. Mobile TV users represent 1% of all mobile stations with actual use of 3G services. Compared to the previous quarter, the number of users declined by about 9.4%.

The mobile TV service accounted for about 1.3 million sessions, which corresponds to about 11 sessions per user per month.

Consult the statistical report: