At the end of the 2nd quarter of 2008 (2Q08) there were 14,3 million Mobile Telephone Service (MTS) subscribers in Portugal, a 4.8 per cent increase in the total number of subscribers compared to the previous quarter and a 15.5 per cent increase compared to the same quarter of the previous year. It should be emphasised that the rate of year-on-year growth recorded this quarter is the highest of recent years.
The weighting of post-paid cards as a proportion of the total number of subscribers has grown by 2.9 points since the second quarter of 2007, now representing around 25 per cent of the total number of subscribers. Within the space of 1 year, 936 thousand post-paid cards have been recorded, 181 thousand in this quarter. This trend is associated with the sign up of subscribers to UMTS based data services which, typically, involve the payment of a monthly charge.
The proportion represented by prepaid card subscribers now stands at 75 per cent of the total number of subscribers. The rates of growth seen for this type of card have consistently come out below the rates for post-paid cards. However, during the 2Q08, pre-paid cards grew at twice the average rate of the previous four quarters. Prepaid cards grew by 4.6 per cent in quarterly terms and 11.3 per cent in annual terms.
Data from the second quarter of 2008 shows that over 1,83 billion calls were made, 4.5 per cent more than in the previous quarter. In comparison to the second quarter of 2007, there was an increase of 6.4 per cent in the number of calls. Meanwhile, there was an increase of 8 per cent in the number of written messages sent. The average number of messages sent per subscriber reached 137 per month in 2Q08 - an average of over 4 messages per day.
The penetration rate of this service had risen to 134,9 subscribers per 100 inhabitants in 2Q08. According to available information at a European level, with reference to 1Q08, the penetration rate recorded in Portugal (128,8 per 100 inhabitants) remains above the EU average (114,4 per 100 inhabitants).
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