Fixed and mobile access to the Internet increases in the first quarter 2016

At the end of the 1st quarter 2016 (1Q16), the Internet access service at a fixed location in Portugal reported a penetration rate of 30.9 per 100 inhabitants in the case of fixed access and a penetration rate of 53.4 per 100 inhabitants in the case of mobile access with actual use. The penetration rate reported for the fixed broadband service (residential customers) was 65.5 per 100 private households and 44.8 per 100 conventional dwellings.

At the end of 1Q16, there were 3.2 million fixed Internet accesses in Portugal (1.9% more than in 4th quarter 2015 and 9.2% more than in 1st quarter 2015).

The main Internet access technology for fixed broadband continues to be cable modem, which, on a quarterly basis, added 15 thousand accesses. There was also an increase in LTE-based accesses (7.1% versus the previous quarter); ADSL was the only technology to see a reduction in the number of subscribers (declining 2% versus the previous quarter).

It is estimated that, as at the end of March, about 96.7% of Internet access customers with fixed broadband had acquired the service as part of a bundle of services.

During the quarter, the share of fixed accesses reported by MEO was 43.1%, followed by Grupo NOS with a share of 36.9% and Vodafone with 15.5%. This data shows that Vodafone and Grupo NOS increased their shares by 3.2 percentage points and 1.9 percentage points respectively, while MEO saw its share decline by 4.1 percentage points over the same period.

In terms of mobile broadband, the number of users who actually used the service increased by 0.3% over the previous quarter and by 10.1% over the same quarter of 2015. The trend in mobile broadband has been driven mainly by the increasing number of smartphone users. According to Marktest's Barómetro de Telecomunicações (Telecommunications Barometer), smartphone users already make up 7 out of 10 mobile users.

In terms of active mobile broadband customers, MEO reported a share of 43.6%, followed by NOS with 29.9% and Vodafone with 26.4%. In year-on-year terms, NOS reported an increase in its share (+5.2 percentage points), while MEO and Vodafone both saw their share decline (-0.9 and -4.3 percentage points respectively).

Meanwhile, broadband Internet access traffic increased (+1.7% in first quarter 2016). This growth is largely explained by trends in fixed broadband traffic (+1.6%), which represented approximately 95.9% of total traffic.

Traffic generated by mobile Internet accesses also increased (+2.5%), with tablet/PC traffic decreasing by 1.7% and the traffic generated by mobile phones increasing by 8.8%.

Average monthly traffic per broadband Internet accesses at a fixed location was reported at 57.9 GB, while traffic generated per mobile broadband customers with actual use was reported at 1.42 GB per month.

Revenues from the fixed Internet access service (stand-alone and bundles of services which include this service) were reported at 416.6 million euros in 1Q16 (+16% versus 1Q15). Meanwhile, revenues from the mobile Internet access service reached 81.7 million euros in the period, increasing by 10.2% from 1Q15.

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