Fixed broadband Internet accesses increase by 7.4% in 2016

During 2016, the number of fixed broadband Internet accesses increased by 7.4% to 3.38 million accesses. Optical fibre was the technology that most contributed to the increase in the number of accesses, growing by 30.4% in 2016 (+254 thousand accesses).

Despite the growth reported in optical fibre, cable modem remains the main form of Internet access at a fixed location (33.1% of all accesses). After optical fibre, cable modem was the technology that saw most growth during 2016 (5.4% increase in the number of accesses).

LTE (fixed access using 4G mobile technology) was the third largest contributor to growth in the number of Internet accesses in 2016, gaining 46 thousand accesses versus 2015. This technology represented about 7.4% of total accesses at the end of the year.

In 2016, the decline in the number of ADSL accesses sharpened, with a fall of 12% (declines in the number of ADSL accesses were reported every quarter during 2016).

At the end of 2016, the fixed broadband penetration rate in Portugal was reported at 32.6 accesses per 100 inhabitants, rising by 2.3 percentage points compared to 2015. The penetration rate of residential fixed broadband customers was 47 per 100 conventional dwellings and 68.3 customers per 100 private households.

In the case of mobile broadband, penetration rose by 9.2 percentage points versus 2015 to 62.6 users per 100 inhabitants.

The number of actual users of the Internet access service via mobile broadband rose to 6.5 million (+17.3% versus 2015), increasing at a rate above the average of the last four years (16.9%). Although the number of users via tablet/PC has decreased, this was more than offset by the growth in smartphones and mobile phone Internet users.

At the end of 2016, about 99.8% of customers with the Internet access service via fixed broadband had acquired the service as part of a bundle of services (+3.6 percentage points versus the end of 2015).

In terms of fixed broadband Internet access, MEO reported a market share of 40.9%, versus 44% in 2015; followed by NOS with 37.4% (36.4% in 2015). Vodafone, with 17.3%, was the provider whose share grew the most in 2016 (+2.5 percentage points), while Grupo Apax (NOWO and ONI) reported a market share of 4.2% versus 4.4% in 2015.

In terms of mobile broadband, MEO reported a 39.4% share of customers (43.9% in 2015), followed by NOS, which increased its share from 28.4% to 30.9%; and Vodafone, whose share rose from 27.4% in 2015 to 28.9% in 2016. Grupo APAX has a share of 0.6%.

In 2016, average monthly traffic per broadband access continued to rise, increasing 31.6% in the case of mobile broadband (1.64 GB) and 13.8% in the case of fixed broadband (61.3 GB). In both cases, these values represent the highest levels reported to date.

At the end of 2016, 43% of fixed broadband service subscribers had accesses with theoretical download speeds exceeding 100 Mbps.

Total revenues from the Internet access service (stand-alone and multiple play bundles that include this service) were reported at 1.69 billion euros in 2016, 12% more than in 2015, resulting from an increase in revenues from triple-play, quadruple-play and quintuple-play bundles (making up 89.8% of total revenues).

Revenues from the mobile broadband access service were reported at 347 million euros in 2016 (+13.4% versus 2015).

Consult the statistical report: