Mobile service revenues drop 10 percent

/ Updated on 15.09.2014

At the end of 2nd quarter 2014 (2Q14), the mobile service in Portugal reported a penetration rate of 155.7 per 100 inhabitants. The penetration rate for mobile stations with actual use was reported at 122.4 per 100 inhabitants.

During 2Q14, there was further migration of subscribers from pre-paid plans to combined/hybrid plans and, to a lesser extent, post-paid plans, especially those associated with multiple-play offers which include the fixed and mobile services. About 16 percent of residential mobile telephone service customers subscribed to offers of this kind.

There were about 4.4 million actual users of services which are typical of mobile broadband (declining 4.5 per cent over the previous quarter and increasing 7.6 percent compared to 2nd quarter 2013). The growth reported versus 2013 stems from increased mobile phone Internet access, particularly as a result of customers opting for tariffs that include voice and mobile data and the increasing use of smartphones.

The volume of conversation minutes originating on mobile networks increased by 3.1 percent compared to 1Q14 and by 7.8 percent year-on-year. This growth is mainly associated with increased off-net traffic, with the introduction of offers including "unlimited" calls and the elimination of price differentiation between on-net and off-net calls, particularly in bundled offers.

The average number of minutes per mobile station with actual use - excluding cards/modem and machine-to-machine devices (M2M) - was reported at 171 per month. Of these, 118 minutes were on-net, 36 minutes were off-net, 8 minutes were associated with calls to the fixed network, 3 minutes with calls to short/non-geographic numbers and 6 minutes with calls to international networks.

On average, calls originating on the mobile network (excluding cards/modem and M2M devices) had a duration of 153 seconds per call - an increase of 4 seconds over 2nd quarter 2013.

Users of the short messaging service sent 11.9 percent fewer messages compared to 2nd quarter 2013. Users of this service sent an average of 255 messages per month (falling from 307 per month in 2Q13), representing about 9 messages per day. The slowdown reported in recent quarters is due to the emergence of alternative forms of communication.

Meanwhile, 24.3 million value-added messages were sent during the quarter, representing 0.4 percent of total messages sent.

The number of users of multimedia messaging services (MMS), Mobile TV and video calls remains relatively low. The traffic levels reported in 2Q14 are below those reported a year earlier (falling 8.4 per cent in the case of MMS and by 36.1 percent in the case of Mobile TV), except for the video-call service which saw an increase in the number of video calls and in traffic volume, respectively, of 24.7 and 20.6 percent. This stems from an increase in the number of devices which are compatible with this service and the inclusion of free use of the service in offer tariffs.

With the exception of message sending, roaming out traffic increased over 2Q13, in particular Internet traffic. This increase may be associated with the entry into force of the third Roaming Regulation, which imposed a reduction in prices charged for voice, SMS and data services (Internet and MMS). Roaming in traffic also grew, with a notable increase in Internet traffic compared to the same period of 2013.

Accumulated revenues from services to customers were reported at about 911 million euros up to June 2014, representing a decline of 10.3 percent compared to the same period of 2013.