Voice traffic on fixed network totals 2.077 billion minutes - 4th quarter 2008

Total voice traffic originating on the fixed network during 4th quarter 2008 totalled around 2.077 billion minutes resulting from 669 million calls, growing respectively by 5.8% and 3.3% over the previous quarter, as a result of seasonal factors.  Year-on-year there was a fall, both in terms of the number of minutes and in terms of call volume.

As far as traffic in minutes is concerned, the decline in total traffic in comparison to the fourth quarter of 2007 can be mostly explained by the sharp fall in dial-up internet access traffic (down 44.8%), resulting from the strong expansion of internet access using broadband technologies, and by the reduction in voice traffic. With respect to call traffic, the drop in total traffic in comparison to the same quarter of 2007 is, above all, the result of a drop in traditional voice traffic. These moves stem from a reduction in the number of accesses, described above, and the substitution of FTS traffic by different types of voice services based on alternative technologies.

With regard to traffic associated with the nomadic VoIP service, it can be seen that its weight in respect of total traffic grew in comparison to the previous quarter to stand at 3.6% in terms of minutes and 2.3% in terms of calls.  Nomadic VoIP totalled around 74.3 million minutes at the end of 4Q08, up 16.6% compared to the previous quarter, and resulting from 15 million calls, 14.3% more than in the previous quarter.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, 11.4% of the total voice minutes were originated through indirect access, 1 percentage point less than the figure recorded for the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, the companies of Grupo PT saw their share of voice traffic continue its downward trend, falling over the previous quarter both in terms of minutes (65.2% in 4Q08, 1.3% less than in the previous quarter) and in terms of the number of calls (65.7% in 4Q08, 1.1% less than in the previous quarter).

The total number of main telephone accesses installed at customer request stood at around 4.1 million as of December 2008, corresponding to a penetration rate of approximately 37.8 accesses per 100 inhabitants. In annual terms, a year-on-year decline was seen of 1.8% in the number of accesses installed at customer request. However, it should be mentioned that accesses based on GSM technology increased by 9.5% year-on-year, while note should be made of the exponential growth seen in the ''other accesses'' including VoIP accesses.

The companies of the Portugal Telecom Group operating in these markets continue to have the majority of installed accesses. At the end of this period Grupo PT held about 68.4% of all accesses installed at customer request, 0.5% less than at the end of the previous quarter and 3% less than a year earlier.

Sonaecom held 16.3% of accesses; Cabovisão 6.7%; Zon 4.2%; and Oni and Vodafone each held 1.7%.

There were around 3.14 million fixed telephone service customers using direct access, an increase of 0.1% on the previous quarter and a fall of 1.9% over the same quarter of 200. This trend was significantly driven by offers from alternative providers based on GSM technology and the packaged offers of fixed telephone and cable television and/or Internet that have been appearing in the market.

Regarding indirect access using pre-selection, the number of customers fell by 11.9%, to 172 thousand during the quarter, to a level approaching 172 thousand. Compared to the same period of the previous year, the number of pre-selection customers fell by 41%.

Grupo PT's share of direct access customers fell by 0.8% compared to the previous quarter and by 4.4% compared to a year earlier, to stand at 64% by the end of the quarter. This fall is essentially a result of the new offers of the alternative providers based on technologies that differ from the traditional Fixed Telephone Service.