Fixed service penetration rate reaches highest level on record

In 2015, the penetration rate of fixed telephone services in Portugal rose to 45.1 accesses per 100 inhabitants, 0.9 percentage points more than in the previous year. This penetration rate is the highest since ANACOM started compiling this information and results from the expansion of bundles of services which include the fixed service.

Nevertheless, voice traffic in minutes fell by 15% in 2015 to 6.462 billion minutes, outpacing the average reduction of the last five years. The reported fall mainly stems from reductions in fixed-to-fixed traffic and from the substitution of fixed telephony by mobile telephony following the growth of quadruple and quintuple-play bundles which include mobile services and free calls to all networks. This is in addition to the increasing penetration of new forms of communication based on the Internet via Over-The-Top operators (OTT). In fact, according to the European Commission's survey on "Information and communication technologies in households and by individuals", at the beginning of 2015, 37% of individuals in Portugal were making voice or video calls over the Internet via OTT; this is in line with the EU28 average.

Likewise, Marktest's Barómetro de Telecomunicações (Telecommunications Barometer) reports that, in 4th quarter 2015, 49% of internet users (aged 15 years or over) were making voice calls over the internet, with an increase in the use of instant messaging services and voice calls over the internet.

The growth in the service's penetration resulted from an increase in the number of accesses based on optical fibre networks, cable and GSM/UMTS/LTE; these now make up 41.8% of total accesses, and their growth more than offset the declines reported in analogue accesses and ISDN.

In terms of provider shares of voice traffic, MEO saw its share fall below 50% with 47.4% of voice minutes, versus 50.5% in 2014. NOS reported a share of 33.2%, virtually unchanged from the previous year, and Vodafone increased its share by 2.8 points to 12.5%.

At the end of 2015 there were 3.86 million fixed telephone customers with direct access, 2.9% more than in the previous year. MEO had 46.3% of these customers (versus 49.8% in 2014), followed by NOS with 36.6% (34.9% in 2014). Vodafone was the operator which gained the largest number of customers in net terms, increasing its share to 12.3%, which represents an increase of 2.7 points year-on-year.

Meanwhile, total revenues from the service, which includes separable revenues and revenues from bundles which include the fixed service (8 out of 10 fixed service customers subscribe to a bundles of services), increased by 16.7% compared to 2014, rising to 1.838 billion euros.

Consult the statistical report: