3.5 million mobile broadband users in Portugal

/ Updated on 21.03.2013

As at the end of 4th Quarter 2012 (4Q12), there were approximately 2.4 million fixed accesses to the Internet in Portugal, 41 thousand more than reported in the previous quarter, representing an increase of 1.7 percent. Compared to the same quarter of 2011 (4Q11) the number of accesses has increased by 6.6 percent.

Meanwhile, there were 3.5 million users of mobile services who actually used mobile broadband to access the Internet during the quarter, which represents an increase of 9.7 percent compared to 3Q12. Of all users, 978 thousand accessed the Internet using cards/modem.

In December, the penetration rate reported for Internet access at a fixed location was 22.6 per 100 inhabitants, 50.4 per 100 private households and 34.8 per 100 conventional dwellings. The rate reported for mobile access with actual use was 32.9 per 100 inhabitants.

About 87 percent of customers of the fixed broadband Internet service purchased their service as part of a bundle of services, whereas 9 percent were customers with double-play bundles (with television or fixed telephone) and 78 percent had a triple-play bundle (television+fixed telephone) or quadruple play (with television+fixed telephone+mobile broadband).

The main technology used for fixed broadband Internet access remains ADSL, with 45 percent of total accesses, followed by cable modem with 39.7 percent. Internet over optical fibre (FTTH/B) was reported as making up 15.2 percent of total accesses, and was the fastest growing form of access, with 7.5 per cent over the period and 53.2 percent compared to 4th Quarter 11.

In 4Q12, about 28.2 percent of mobile broadband Internet accesses comprised cards/USB modems used to access the Internet with desktop computers/and laptops/tablets. In 4th Quarter 11, these accesses made up 38.8 percent. The growth in mobile broadband has mainly been driven by an increase in the number of smartphone users.

With regard to provider shares of fixed broadband accesses, Grupo Portugal Telecom (PT) reported a share of 51.3 percent, increasing 0.2 percentage points over the previous quarter and increasing by about 9.9 percentage points since the spin-off of PT Multimédia (November 2007).

In terms of provider shares of mobile broadband customers, TMN's share of customers was reported at 40.5 percent, followed by Vodafone and Optimus with 38.3 and 19.9 percent, respectively.

During this period, the majority of users (79 percent) had a contracted theoretical maximum speed in excess of 10 Mbps. About 37 percent of customers had accesses above 20 Mbps, while about 10.4 percent had accesses above 100 Mbps.

Meanwhile, broadband Internet access traffic increased by about 15.4 percent in 4Q12, mainly as a result of trends reported in fixed broadband traffic, which saw an increase of 16.1 percentage points and represents approximately 96.5 percent of the total. Mobile Internet access traffic fell by 1.2 percent, and average traffic per broadband Internet access at a fixed location was reported at 38 GB per month. Each mobile broadband customer reporting actual use generated 0.96 GB of traffic per month (2.77 GB per month in the case of cards/modem).

According to Marktest's "Barómetro Telecomunicações" (Telecommunications Barometer), in 4Q12, the average monthly charge for the Internet access service, where separate, was 20.40 euros in the case of fixed Internet and 14.80 euros in the case of mobile Internet using cards/modem. The monthly fee for mobile phone Internet access, in the same period, was 11.60 euros. The average monthly expenditure of households with bundled offers which include the Internet access service ranged from 48.60 euros in the case of triple-play (FTS-fixed telephone services+IAS-Internet access services+STVS-subscription TV service) and 25.70 euros in the case of double-play (FTS+IAS). The average monthly charge for a bundle with STVS+IAS was 44.40 euros.

Consult the statistical report: