Roaming Internet traffic more than doubled in 2nd quarter

Voice traffic generated and terminated by Portuguese users on the networks of operators abroad (roaming out) rose to record levels in 2nd quarter 2016, in terms of originated and terminated traffic. The number of roaming out voice minutes increased by 18.5% over the same quarter. As regards internet access, in addition to the increase in the number of sessions (+8.8%), there was notable growth in the volume of Internet traffic in GB (+138.2%). This type of traffic posted annual growth, for seventeen consecutive quarters, at rates above 40 percent).

Year-on-year, roaming in traffic increased by 14.7% in terms of calls, by 21.1% in terms of minutes and by 13% in terms of messages. There were also significant increases in Internet traffic (increasing 166.7% year-on-year in terms of number of sessions and by 141.7% in terms GB).

This trend in roaming traffic was influenced, among other factors, by the entry into force of new rules on 30 April 2016 to reduce roaming prices in the European Economic Area.

In 2nd quarter 2016, there were 16.9 million SIM cards, of which 12.7 million (75.6% of total) saw actual use. Excluding tablet/PC connections and cards associated with Machine-to-Machine communications (M2M), there were 11.5 million active cards with actual use, declining 0.6% from the previous quarter and declining 1.6 % from 2nd quarter 2015.

During the quarter, there was a further decrease in the proportion of pre-paid subscribers, falling to 49.1%, the lowest since data on these indicators was first collected. This is related to increased use of bundles of services which include the fixed and mobile telephone service.

Meanwhile, there were around 5.8 million actual users of services which are typical of mobile broadband (i.e. video telephony, broadband data transmission, mobile TV, etc.), increasing by 1.8% from the previous quarter and increasing by 2.1% over 2nd quarter 2015 to represent 45.6% of total SIM cards with actual use. Increased use of these services (year-on-year) is associated with the increase in the number Internet users via mobile phone (+9.9%), especially where included in bundled offers, and with the increasing penetration of smartphones.

MEO remains the leading provider in Portugal, with 44.1% of active SIM cards with actual use, followed by Vodafone with 32%. NOS, with a share of 22.4%, was the provider that registered the highest level of growth, increasing its share by 0.6 percentage points. Meanwhile, in April 2016, commercial offers were launched by two new MVNO providers (Cabovisão and Onitelecom).

The volume of accumulated revenues from services provided to end-customers up to the end of June totalled around 678 million euros, declining 7.6% versus the same period of 2015. Average monthly revenue per subscriber was 8.9 euros.

At the end of June, the mobile services reported a penetration rate of 163 stations per 100 inhabitants, while the penetration rate of mobile stations with actual use was 123.2 per 100 inhabitants.

Consult the statistical report: