Alternative technologies sustain growth in fixed telephone

/ Updated on 14.03.2011

The total number of main telephone accesses installed at customer request stood at around 4.4 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2010, corresponding to a penetration rate of approximately 41.3 accesses per 100 inhabitants. Compared to the previous quarter, there was an increase of 0.4 per cent in the number of these accesses, a higher increase in annual terms of around 4 per cent. The decline in analogue accesses and in basic and fractioned ISDN accesses was offset by the growth reported in accesses using other technologies (quarterly increase of 5.8 per cent and 39.5 per cent in annual terms), especially VoIP/VoB and optical fibre (FTTH/FTTB). To highlight that for the first time since its introduction, the supported accesses using GSM/UMTS reported a decline (-0.4 per cent), despite a growth of 4.8 compared to the fourth quarter of 2009.

In the quarter under review, there were around 31.5 thousand installed payphones, with a decline seen of 1.6 per cent over the previous quarter and a year-on-year decline of 5.4 percent.

At the end of the fourth quarter, the PT Group was responsible for 59.5 per cent of all accesses installed at customer request, less 0.2 percentage points than in the previous quarter and down 3.2 percentage points at the end of that same period of 2009.

There were around 3.5 million fixed telephone service customers using direct access, an increase of 0.6 per cent on the previous quarter and an increase of 5.4 per cent on the same quarter of 2009. This trend was significantly driven by packaged offers which combine fixed telephone and cable television and/or Internet as well as the offers from alternative providers based on GSM/UMTS technology.

The number of indirect access customers using operator pre-selection fell by 7.1 per cent, reaching about 113 000 costumers, the lowest level since 2001. Compared to the same period of the previous year, the number of pre-selection customers fell by 20.4 per cent. Identical behavior was registered in the fall of nomadic VoIP customers, which in December amounted to approximately 105,000 active customers, representing a decrease of 0.7 per cent over the previous quarter.

During this quarter, the Groupo PT's share of direct access customers fell by 0.1 percentage points (3.1 percentage points over the same quarter of 2009), reaching 54.4 per cent. This share reduction is mainly a result of new offers by other service providers, based on access technologies other than traditional fixed telephone service, especially package offers.

The total voice traffic originated in the fixed network during the fourth quarter of 2010 totalled around 2 billion minutes and 587 million calls, an increase of 6.6 and 2.2 per cent respectively. There was a decrease of 1.3 per cent in volume of minutes and 5.4 per cent in volume of calls over the same period of 2009.

In terms of traffic associated with the nomadic VoIP service, it is noted that despite the decline reported in the number of active customers, traffic associated with this type of service increased compared to the third quarter of 2010, in terms of calls and in terms of minutes.

Looking at indirect access, it is noted that 6.9 per cent of the total of voice minutes were originated through indirect access, 0.8 percentage point below the figure reported in the previous quarter and 1.8 percentage points less than in the same quarter of 2009.

Of the total of voice calls made in the period under review, 10 per cent were made using indirect access, 1.9 percentage points below that reported in the same quarter of the previous year.

During the quarter being reported, the FTS voice traffic share of Grupo PT reached 60.1 per cent, a decrease of 0.9 percentage points over the previous quarter.

Consult the statistical report: