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Traffic in the fixed network continued to fall in the first quarter
Total traffic originating in the fixed network during the first three months of this year reached 2.652 billion minutes - falling 4.9% during the quarter - resulting from 809 million calls. In voice traffic, which represents 78.3% of the total and stood at 2.077 billion minutes, there was less of a decline, 3.9%, which can be explained by structural effects and also some seasonal effect. For internet traffic, which totalled 575 million minutes, the drop was sharper, 8.1%, which is explained by the accentuated fall in dial-up internet traffic driven by the strong expansion of ADSL.
The complement of main telephone accesses installed at customer request stood at 4.124 million, corresponding to a penetration rate of 40 accesses per 100 inhabitants. The number of accesses recorded a negative variation of 0.5% over the previous quarter, a downward trend registered since 2001.
In terms of access shares, the Grupo PT companies held 92.9% of total accesses in March, 0.3 percentage points less than registered in the previous quarter, and 93.6% of accesses installed at customer request, also 0.3 points less than in the previous quarter. PT's declining share is associated to the reduced use of fixed telephone service and the other providers' increased offer of bundling packages with other services, namely cable television and internet via cable-modem and ADSL, by unbundled local loop.
During the same period, the number of fixed telephone service in direct access customers reached 3.14 million at the end of March, 0.3% more than the figure recorded at the end of 2004. The new providers are responsible for the higher number of direct customers, specifically those offering the service via cable distribution networks and those offering service packages using unbundled local loops.
Regarding indirect access via pre-selection, the number of customers rose by 7.2% to 423,000. This trend has been registered since late 2003, coinciding with the new operators' entry in this market. Call-to-call selection also continued to rise and at the end of March there were 105,000 active customers in this access mode, representing quarterly growth of 3.2%.
The Grupo PT's customer shares did not significantly change over the previous quarter, with a drop of only 0.3 percentage points in the share of direct access customers, to 93.5%. In year-on-year terms the share fell by one percentage point.
Indirect access, where the new operators have a market share above 99%, accounted for 19.9% of the voice minutes generated in the fixed network during the first three months of the year, 0.9% more percentage points than in the previous quarter. In voice traffic the Grupo PT companies held a 76.5% share, down half a point; this figure rises to 81.1% when we consider total traffic, voice plus internet.
Average call length in the fixed network stood at 3.28 minutes in the first quarter, a figure less than that recorded the previous quarter and which is explained by the reduction in internet access traffic. In March, internet access calls represented 21.7% of total minutes and 3.3% of total calls. The average length of an internet access call was 21.23 minutes, versus the 2.66 minutes for a voice call.
Comparing the average call lengths by access type it was verified, for the first time, that during the quarter under review the average length of voice calls in indirect access was above that of direct access, 2.65 minutes versus 2.57 minutes, respectively.
Quarterly reports by service http://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?categoryId=277884
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