Fixed telephone service - 2022

Executive Summary

96.3% of households with a fixed telephone

In 2022, the penetration rate of main telephone accesses was 52.5 accesses per 100 inhabitants. The penetration rate of accesses installed at the request of residential customers reached 96.3 per 100 households, up 2.1 percentage points (p.p.) from the corresponding quarter last year.

Number of customers increased by 2.1%

The number of customers of the fixed telephone service with direct access was around 4.4 million, 90 thousand (+2.1%) more than in 2021. The reported growth is consistent with the estimated historical trend and is associated with the growing penetration of bundled offers that include the fixed telephone service.

Next generation networks responsible for the growth in the number of accesses

The pool of main telephone accesses reached 5.4 million equivalent accesses, 118 thousand more than last year. This growth (+2.2%) was due to the increase in accesses supported on fibre optics and cable TV networks (+284 thousand accesses).

In 2022, accesses supported on next generation networks (FTTH, cable TV networks and mobile networks at a fixed location), represented 89.9% of telephone accesses, and increased their weight by 2.8 p.p. compared to the same quarter last year. In the last five years, the number of analogue accesses fell at an average annual rate of 23.4%, which corresponds, on average, to 166 thousand fewer accesses per year.

Public payphones down by 10.3%

The number of installed public payphones was around 12 800, a fall by 10.3% compared to 2021.

Traffic originating from public payphones, which decreased by 15.6% in 2022, shows a downward trend that is explained by the replacement of this type of traffic by mobile phone calls and other forms of internet-supported communications. Since 2015, this type of traffic has decreased by 72.9%.

Traffic from the fixed network fell by 16.8%

In the period under review, the volume of minutes from the fixed network decreased by 16.8% compared to 2021.

The pandemic caused a reversal of the downward trend in traffic that had been observed since 2013. The estimated effect of COVID-19 on average traffic per access was +12.8% in 2022, while in 2021 it had been +22.5%, approaching the estimated values without the effect of the pandemic.

According to the type of call, the decrease was mainly due to the drop in fixed-to-fixed traffic (-19.8%) and, to a lesser extent, to the reduction in fixed-to-mobile traffic (-12.0%), national traffic to short numbers and non-geographic numbers (-31.1%) and outgoing international traffic (-19.5%). The evolution of these traffic flows in 2022 are likely to be associated with the lifting of movement restrictions associated with COVID-19.

Provider shares

At the end of 2022, MEO’s share of direct access customers reached 41.8%, followed by the NOS Group with 34.3%, Vodafone with 20.5% and NOWO with 2.7%. NOS and NOWO’s direct access customer shares decreased by 0.3 and 0.2, respectively, while MEO’s share was maintained and Vodafone’s increased by 0.6 p.p. The level of concentration decreased slightly, remaining high.