Portugal SMEs making use of Over-The-Top and Cloud services

Portuguese SMEs are already using new information and communication technologies and services, especially over-the-top (OTT) services, including Internet messaging services (37.3%) and Voice over Internet (27.2%). Meanwhile, about 11.4% of SMEs in Portugal are using cloud computing; this according to a survey conducted by ANACOM to evaluate the use of electronic communications services by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The surveyed companies consider that, on a scale of 1 to 10, the degree of substitutability between OTT services and traditional services in their company is 5.5 in the case of mobile voice and 5.2 in the case of fixed voice.

Among the survey's respondents, 89.7% were subscribers to bundled offers of electronic communications services. The quadruple-play bundle with fixed and mobile voice and fixed and mobile internet is the most popular bundle (27.2%, increasing by 15 percentage points compared to 2012), while the double-play bundle consisting of the fixed service and fixed broadband fell back to second place (20.6%). The vast majority of these companies were subscribers to standard business offers (84.7%), with just 8.8% reporting that they had offers that were tailor-made.

Business customers with services included in a bundle were those making a greater percentage of complaints, these were also the least satisfied with their services (7.38 points on a scale of 1 to 10). Meanwhile, those receiving services not as part of a bundle have a higher average level of satisfaction: 7.94 in the case of mobile internet, 7.79 in the case of mobile voice and 7.63 in the case of the fixed telephone service.

According to the survey, Grupo PT/MEO has the highest share of SME customers. Grupo PT's leading position is more pronounced among fixed services, although its share has been declining over time.

Grupo NOS is in 2nd position with respect to fixed services and bundles, while Vodafone is the 2nd largest provider when it comes to mobile services and the fastest growing provider when it comes to fixed services.

In 2014, provider switching among SMEs reached the highest levels on record. Loyalty is most important barrier to provider switching - about 87% of companies had contracts with a 24 month lock-in period.

The survey found that the penetration of electronic communications services among SMEs varies depending on the sector of activity. The construction sector, for example, has the highest levels of penetration when it comes to mobile services (mobile voice 96.6% and mobile Internet 62%) and the lowest levels of penetration when it comes to fixed services (voice 84.5% and Internet 85.3%). The retail sector reported higher penetration rates for fixed services (telephone 96.9% and fixed internet 90.1%), while mobile voice penetration drops to 87.6%. In the manufacturing sector, penetration of the mobile internet service is only 50.7%.

According to the survey's results, penetration among SMEs was 93.5% for fixed services, 89.3% for mobile services and 93.3% for the Internet access service. Despite reporting lower penetration levels, 54.5%, the mobile internet service was the fastest growing service, increasing 5.9 percentage points compared to 2012.

According to the annual survey conducted by Eurostat, "Information and communication technologies in enterprises", covering companies with 10 employees or more, mobile Internet penetration among Portuguese companies (66%) is higher than the EU average (64%), and Portugal is ranked 10th in the EU. The Internet service in Portugal has a penetration rate in line with the EU average (97%), putting Portugal in 16th place in the European rankings.

The majority of sectors in Portugal have 100% penetration rates, sharing 1st position in the EU rankings. The manufacturing and construction sectors are exceptions, with 96% penetration rates (20th and 17th in the rankings), together with retail, with 99% (8th in the European ranking).

According to the survey conducted by ANACOM, the main barriers to the take-up of electronic communications services stem from the use of alternative networks/services (those with fixed telephone and fixed Internet who have no interest in using mobile voice and Internet) and "no need/interest in acquiring the services".

The survey, which is performed every two years, was conducted in November and December 2014 and involved 3000 interviews with companies having their registered office in Portugal and with fewer than 250 employees.