Record number of calls and minutes reported on the mobile service in 2016

The number of calls (10 billion) and the number of conversation minutes (25.842 billion) reported on the mobile service in Portugal represent record historical values, increasing by 2.7% in 2016. This trend results from the increased penetration of bundled offers which include fixed and mobile services and which have "zero cent" calls; these have contributed to the growth in off-net traffic (average of 23.2% over the last five years).

On-net traffic fell by 3.6%, falling for the fifth consecutive year. Despite the increase recorded in mobile-fixed traffic (+4.9%), only 5% of calls were made to numbers on the fixed telephone service. International traffic increased by 3.1%, reversing the downward trend of the last two years. The average length of calls remained unchanged at 155 seconds.

Meanwhile, users of the text messaging service (69% of total mobile stations with actual use, excluding PC/tablets and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications) sent 11.1% fewer messages compared to 2015. This drop exceeds the average reduction of recent years (-9.2%). Users of this service sent an average of 200 messages per month, the lowest value since 2010.

As at the end of 2016, there was also continued growth in the number of actual users of typical mobile broadband services (video-telephony, data transmission, broadband, mobile TV, etc.), rising to 6.6 million users; this represents an increase of 12.6% over the previous year. The growing use of these services is associated with the increase in the number of mobile phone Internet users (+19.5% compared to 2015), and the growing penetration of smartphones (72.6% of all mobile phone holders in December 2016).

There were 17 million mobile stations eligible to use the service, of which 12.9 million (75.5% of the total) saw actual use. Excluding cards associated with PC/tablets and M2M, there were 11.6 million cards with actual use, 1.2% fewer versus 2015. The number of M2M stations (759 thousand) increased by 54% in 2016, to represent 4.4% of total active mobile stations.

In 2016, about 41% of mobile telephone service customers received the service as part of a multiple-play offer comprising fixed services, compared to 33% in 2015. During 2016, the migration of subscribers from pre-paid plans to post-paid/hybrid plans continued, with pre-paid plans making up 48.6% of the total (-2 percentage points versus 2015).

There were 955 thousand users of international roaming at the end of 2016 (11.2% more than in 2015), representing 8.3% of total active mobile stations with actual use excluding PC/tablets and M2M. Roaming traffic saw increases in all types of traffic in 2016, especially in the volume of Internet traffic. This growth is associated with the entry into force, in April 2016, of new rules which aim to minimise differences between national tariffs and roaming tariffs in the European Economic Area (EEA). MEO remained the main mobile telephone service provider, with 43.6% of active mobile stations with actual use (0.5 percentage points fewer versus 2015), followed by Vodafone with 31.4% (2.1 percentage points fewer versus 2015). NOS, with a share of 23.3%, reported an increase in the number of stations with actual use during the period (+2.4 percentage points).

At the end of 2016, the volume of accumulated revenues earned from services provided to end-customers (excluding revenues from services included in bundles) was reported at 1.36 billion euros, falling 7% from the previous year. Average monthly revenue per average subscriber was 10 euros.

Consult the statistical report: