2.3 million customers reported as using mobile broadband in third quarter

At the end of September 2010, there were 2.3 million mobile broadband Internet users in Portugal reported with actual use; of these 1.25 million accessed the Internet using cards/modem. Meanwhile, there were 2.05 million customers with fixed access, of which 2.02 million used broadband.

The number of users reported as actually using mobile broadband internet during the period being reported rose by 2.5% compared to the previous quarter, and rose 16% compared to the third quarter of 2009.

The number of customers with fixed Internet access, reported at 2.052 million, increased by 2% compared to the previous quarter and by 11.4% compared to the third quarter of 2009.

The vast majority of fixed Internet access service customers - 98.6% or 2.02 million - use broadband, 40.5 thousand or 2% more than in the previous quarter, while year-on-year, the number of broadband customers rose by 11.9%. Then number of customer using dial-up continues to decline.

ADSL remains the principal broadband Internet access technology, now representing 53% of the total, nine percentage points below the peak. Cable modem is used by 40.9% of fixed broadband customers.

During the quarter being reported, “other” offers, comprising 127 780 users, attracted the most new subscribers in net terms (60%), which translated into a growth rate of 23.5%. These offers include offers based on leased lines, FWA and optical fibre (FTTH/B), and represents 6.3% of the total of all customers. The growth reported in segment is due above all to the offers supported over optical fibre (FTTH/B).

In the quarter being reported there were around 103 thousand customers reported with Internet access over optical fibre, an increase of 32%. Around 96% of these customers were residential. Internet access over optical fibre represents 5% of all customers and attracted around 62% of new customers in net terms.

As far as market share is concerned, Grupo PT’s share of customers increased by 0.7 percentage points over the quarter to 46.2%; while the share reported for ZON held at 32.7%.

In terms of customers accessing mobile broadband with cards/modems, the share of TMN was reported at 47.8%, followed by Optimus and Vodafone with 28.2% and 20% respectively.

Broadband Internet access traffic grew by around 1.8% over the quarter. This movement is explained in most part by the trend reported for fixed broadband traffic 1.6%) which represents 95% of the total.

Internet access traffic from mobile connections (in Gb) grew by 5.1% in the period, a lower rate of growth than reported in the previous quarter.  It is noted that 98% of total mobile broadband traffic comprises connections made using cards/modem.

In terms of average traffic per fixed broadband customer, each customer generated an average of 22.1 GB of traffic per month, in line with the values reported in previous quarters and 19% above the level reported in the third quarter of 2009.

In the first nine months of 2010, the individualised revenues of the fixed Internet access service totalled around 298 million euros. This revenue is derived from stand-alone and multiple play offers with a separable Internet component.

These revenues show a decline of 7% compared to the same quarter of 2009, resulting from the increase in offers of Internet access as part of service bundles.

Revenue which cannot be separated, derived from bundles of services which include the Internet access service, reached around 153 million euros, growing 58% year-on-year.

Meanwhile revenue derived from the mobile Internet access service reached 287.7 million euros, 21.5% more than the value reported for the same period of the previous year.

At the end of September, the penetration rate of broadband Internet access stood at 19 per 100 inhabitants for fixed access and at 21.6 per 100 inhabitants for mobile access with actual use.

In the case of fixed access, this value increased 0.4 point over the previous quarter, a year-on-year increase of two percentage points. The penetration rate of fixed Internet offers supported over FTTH/B is reported at 0.97 per 100 inhabitants.