Fixed telephone accesses record highest penetration rate in eight years

At the end of 3rd quarter 2014, the penetration rate of main telephone accesses in Portugal rose to 43.8 accesses per 100 inhabitants, increasing 0.2 percentage points on the previous quarter to record the highest value in eight years.

The total stock of main telephone accesses was reported at 4.6 million accesses (an increase of 0.5% over 2Q14 and an increase of 0.8% compared to 3Q13), rising slightly above the forecast range estimated based on the historical trend. The growth in GSM/UMTS/LTE accesses (+2.9%) and in VoIP/VoB accesses (+3%), including those supported over high-speed networks (optical fibre and cable TV networks), offset the declines reported in analogue accesses (-1.4%) and in ISDN accesses (-2.1%).

Grupo PT accounted for 54.8% of total main accesses this quarter (a drop of 0.7 percentage points versus 2Q14), while Grupo NOS was the 2nd largest operator with a share of 30.5% (0.1 percentage points more than in June). Vodafone reported the highest rate of growth among providers with a market share of 8.8% (an increase of 0.7 percentage points versus 2Q14).

At the end of September, there were 3.7 million fixed telephone service customers in Portugal with direct access, 0.7% more than in the previous quarter; this increase prolongs the upward trend in place since 2008, and results from increased penetration by triple-play offers (fixed telephone service, subscription TV and internet access) which include free calls to fixed numbers.

Grupo PT reported a share of direct access customers of 50.5%, falling 0.6 percentage points versus the previous quarter, while NOS maintained a share of 34.8%. Vodafone reported the 3rd largest share with 8.8%, increasing eight points, followed by Grupo Altice with 5.7%.

The volume of FTS voice minutes decreased, by 7% versus the previous quarter and by 9.5% versus the same quarter of 2013, falling below the forecast range resulting from the trend and estimated seasonal effects.

During the period being reported, on average per month, each main access accounted for 102 minutes in fixed-fixed calls (-10 minutes versus 2Q14), 12 minutes in fixed-mobile calls, 9 minutes in international calls and 8 minutes in calls to short and non-geographic numbers (in line with the previous quarter).

The decline in traffic may stem from the increased penetration of bundles which include fixed and mobile services.

In the case of residential customers, and according to Marktest's Barómetro de Telecomunicações (Telecommunications Barometer), the average monthly charge of the fixed telephone service in 3Q14 (where separable) was reported at 13.7 euros, falling 5.2% from the previous quarter and falling 4.4% from 3Q13.

In total, revenues from the fixed telephone service (stand-alone and included in bundles) totalled 1.163 billion euros, representing an increases of 3.7% versus the same period of 2013.

The number of installed public pay-telephones fell this quarter, decreasing to about 23 thousand (a decline of 1.2% compared to 3Q13).

Consult the statistical report: