Fixed telephone service 2018

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Executive summary

FTS penetration reached 49.3 accesses per 100 inhabitants

In 2018, FTS penetration rate in Portugal reached 49.3 accesses per 100 inhabitants. This is the highest penetration rate since ANACOM started compiling this information (2001).

The penetration rate for accesses installed at residential customer request was 89 per 100 private households. However, according to the Marktest’s Telecommunications Barometer, at the end of 2018, about 34.6% of FTS customers did not use this service.

Fibre optic responsible for the growth in the number of accesses

The stock of main telephone accesses reached almost 5 million accesses, 5% more in comparison with the previous year. The growth recorded (+242 thousand equivalent accesses) was mainly due to the increase in VoIP/VoB accesses (+519 thousand accesses), which includes accesses supported by fibre optic and cable TV networks.

It should be noted that at the end of 2018, accesses supported by the traditional network (analogue and ISDN accesses) accounted for 28.9% of the main telephone accesses, while accesses supported by alternative networks reached 71.1%

92% of subscribers purchased this service in a bundle

At the end of 2018, the number of direct access fixed telephone service customers reached 4 million, 2.3% higher than that recorded in the previous year.

The growth registered has been linked to the growing popularity of bundled offers which include fixed telephone. About 92% of FTS customers had purchased this service as part of a bundle.

Sharp drop in public payphones and indirect access

At the end of 2018, the number of public payphones installed was around 18.5 thousand1, and so there was a reduction of 5.4% compared to the end of the previous year. Since 2004, when the number of public payphones reached 47.4 thousand, this indicator has decreased 61.1%.

In addition, indirect access (pre-selection and call-by-call selection), which was subscribed to by around 600 thousand customers, at the end of 2018 had around 19.8 thousand customers, having decreased 20.8% with regard to the previous year.

Traffic originating in fixed network in minutes decreased 9.4%

The volume of minutes originating in the fixed network decreased 9.4% in relation to 2017. Traffic in minutes has been falling since the start of 2013. The decrease in traffic is linked to the increase in the penetration of 4P/5P bundles, which include mobile services with free calls to all networks and, also, the growing penetration of Over-the-Top (OTT) services.

According to Marktest’s Telecommunications Barometer, in 4Q2018, 48.9% of Individuals aged 15 or older with fixed Internet at home made voice calls through the Internet (48% in 4Q2017).

Average user consumed 81 minutes of calls per month

On average, each month, 81 minutes were consumed per access: 58 minutes in fixed-to-fixed calls, 8 minutes in fixed-mobile calls and 4 minutes in international calls.

MEO led in terms of accesses

MEO had a share of 45.5% in terms of total accesses and 42.3% in terms of direct access customers. The NOS Group had a share of 34.1% in terms of accesses and 36.7% in terms of direct customers.

Vodafone was the provider with the third largest share of main accesses (16.4%) and customers (17%).

1 At the end of 2018 there were two active public payphone providers, one of which was the universal public payphone service provider (MEO).