Mobile network voice traffic increases more than expected in 2013

In 4th quarter 2013, the volume of conversation minutes originating on Portugal's mobile networks increased by 3.2% over the previous quarter and by 9.6% compared to 4th quarter 2012, coming in above the upper limit of the forecast range resulting from the historical trend and estimated seasonality. This growth stems from the launch of offers with unlimited calls.

Mobile stations with actual use (12 million excluding cards/modems and M2M devices) saw an average of 162 conversation minutes per station per month. Of these, 119 were on-net minutes, 26 were off-net minutes, 8 were minutes associated with calls to the fixed network, 3 were minutes associated with calls to short/non-geographic numbers and 6 were minutes associated with calls to international networks.

The average duration of calls originating on the mobile network (excluding cards/modems and M2M devices) was reported at 150 seconds per call this quarter, 3 seconds more than in the previous quarter.

In the same period, there were about 4.7 million actual users of mobile broadband in Portugal, an increase of 9% over the previous quarter and an increase of 5.7% over the same quarter of 2012. Users of these services represent 35.3% of total mobile stations with actual use - 13.2 million. The growth reported in the use of this service is associated with Internet use on mobile phones, particularly with tariffs that include voice and mobile data, and also with increasing smartphone penetration.

Users of the text message service (63.5% of total mobile stations with actual use, excluding cards for Internet access and M2M devices) sent about 6.5 billion text messages (6.1% less than sent in the same period of 2012). The average number of messages sent by users of this service was 286 (compared to 290 in the same period of 2012), which is about 10 messages per day. Message traffic has seen a slowdown in recent quarters with the emergence of alternative forms of communication.

Meanwhile, 24.7 million added value messages were sent, making up 0.4% of total messages sent.

The number of MMS, video-call and Mobile TV users remains relatively low. Compared to Q3 2013, traffic from these services posted declines (10.1% for multimedia messaging, 1.6% for video calls and 5.3% in the case of mobile TV traffic).

The average number of users of the international roaming service outside Portugal represents 7.3% of all mobile stations with actual use, excluding cards/modems and M2M devices.

Roaming out traffic, and particularly Internet traffic, increased over the same quarter of 2012. This may be associated with the decline in roaming charges seen in 2013. Roaming traffic decreased as is usual this time of year, while compared with the same quarter last year, there was a notable increase in Internet traffic.

At the end of the year, penetration of mobile services was reported at 159.8 per 100 inhabitants. The penetration rate of mobile stations with actual use was reported at 126 per 100 inhabitants.

Consult the statistical report: