Total fixed broadband internet traffic increases by 61.1%, due to the impact of Covid-19

At the end of the 1st semester of 2020 (1S2020), the penetration rate of fixed broadband residential customers was 82.6 per 100 private households, 4.0 percentage points (p.p.) more than in the same semester of the previous year.

The number of fixed broadband accesses increased by 190 thousand accesses (+4.9%), compared to the same period of the previous year, having reached 4.1 million. The growth that has been observed during these last years is slowing down.

Optical fibre (FTTH) was the main form of fixed broadband access to the internet, accounting for 52.5% of total accesses (4.3 p.p. More than in the 1st semester of 2019 – 1S2019). FTTH was also the form of access that most contributed to the growth of the number of accesses. In the last 12 months, the number of fibre-based accesses increased by 268 thousand accesses (14.4%).

In the 1S2020, the accesses supported by cable television networks increased by 1.6%, the highest value since the 1st semester of 2018, representing 29.7% of the total (-1 p.p. than 12 months ago). ADSL accesses continued on a downward trend, having fallen by 20.1% in comparison with 1S2019. ADSL represented 10.7% of total accesses ( -3.3 p.p.).

Fixed accesses supported by mobile networks increased by 3.9%, the first semesterly increase since the end of 2018, accounting for 7.0% (-0.1 p.p.). This type of access stood above the forecast range derived from the historical trend, possibly due to the replacement of site of use arising from the impact of Covid-19.

Total fixed broadband internet traffic increased by 61.1%, compared to the same semester of the previous year. The monthly average traffic per access reached 185.2 GB, corresponding to 53.6% more than in 1S2019. This is the highest value recorded up to date. A year ago, the average traffic per access had grown by 23.9%.

The growth of traffic intensified in 1S2020 due to the effects of Covid-19. The pandemic caused a change of the patterns of use of the service which gave rise to an acceleration of the growth of internet traffic. It is estimated that, on average, the traffic of fixed data is likely to have increased by 59% during the state of emergency.

With respect to the shares of the providers, the fixed broadband internet access service markets have four entities with relevant shares of subscribers: MEO (40.4%), the NOS Group (35.5%), Vodafone (20.2%) and the NOWO/Onitelecom Group (3.7%).

Compared to the semester of the previous year, Vodafone was the provider whose share of accesses most increased (+0.6 p.p.), while MEO was the provider that captured most customers in net terms, having increased its share by 0.1 p.p. The shares of the NOS and NOWO/Onitelecom Groups declined (0.6 p.p. and 0.2 p.p., respectively).

Considering only residential accesses, MEO had the largest share of subscribers (38.8%), followed by the NOS Group (37.7%), Vodafone (19.3%) and the NOWO/Onitelecom Group (4.1%). MEO's share remained unchanged, Vodafone's share increased by 0.7 p.p., and the shares of the NOS and NOWO/Onitelecom Groups fell by 0.6 p.p. and 0.2 p.p., respectively.

Consult the statistical report: