Voice traffic on mobile networks increases 6.7% in 3rd quarter

The volume of conversation minutes originating on mobile networks in Portugal increased by 6.7% over the third quarter and by 12.1% year-on-year, driven by the introduction of offers with included voice and data traffic and by the end of on-net/off-net tariff differentiation, which has led to an increase in off-net traffic.

There is evidence that this tariff change may reduce the strength of the so-called "network effect". According to Marktest's Barómetro de Telecomunicações (Telecommunications Barometer), in September 2014, about 23.3 percent of users, when questioned about the main reason for their choice of operator, cited the fact that their contacts were connected to the same network, falling 7.2 percentage points from a year ago.

Average duration per call originating on the mobile network (excluding cards/modem and M2M equipment) this quarter was 160 seconds per call, 12 seconds more than in the same quarter of 2013.

Users of the text messaging service sent 12.2 percent fewer messages than in 3rd quarter 2013, sending an average of 267 messages (about 9 messages per day). Message traffic has seen a slowdown in recent quarters as alternative forms of Internet-based communication have emerged.

MMS traffic increased 0.4% in the quarter, but fell by 16.1% versus 3Q13.

In the same period, the number of active mobile stations reached 16.4 million. Of these, 13 million (79 percent of the total) registered actual use in the last quarter. Excluding cards/modem and mobile stations associated with Machine-to-Machine communications (M2M), the number of active mobile stations/user devices with actual use in 3rd quarter 2014 totalled about 11.8 million, 1.6% more than in the previous quarter but 0.7% less than in the same period of 2013.

At the end of September, the mobile service reported a penetration rate of 157.5 per 100 inhabitants. The penetration rate for mobile stations with actual use is reported at 124.4 per 100 inhabitants.

During the quarter, there was further migration of subscribers from pre-paid plans to combined/hybrid plans and, to a lesser extent, to post-paid plans, especially those associated with multiple-play offers which include fixed services and the mobile telephone service. As a result of this trend, at the end of September, the proportion of pre-paid subscribers reached an all-time low (59.7 percent).

During the quarter, 4.8 million customers made use of the typical services of mobile broadband (video telephony, broadband data transmission, mobile TV, etc.), an increase of 10.5% over the previous quarter and 12.8% over the same quarter of 2013. The growth reported in the use of these services, which was the highest recorded since these indicators were first compiled, results from mobile phone Internet access, particularly when associated with bundled offers, and from increasing smartphone penetration.

Accumulated revenues from services to customers were reported at about 1.376 billion euros, representing a decline of 9.5 percent compared to the same period of 2013. Average monthly revenue per subscriber was 11.9 euros, about 8.1 percent below the value reported in 3Q13.

Consult the statistical report: