ANACOM determines net costs of the universal service for 2014 and 2016

Last week, ANACOM approved a draft decision identifying the undertakings required to contribute to the electronic communications universal service compensation fund and determining the amount of the contributions in respect of the CLSU - Custos Líquidos do Serviço Universal (Net Costs of Universal Service) to be compensated in respect of 2014 and 2016.

With respect to 2014, the decision refers to the net costs of the universal service for the period of the year in which the universal service was provided by MEO, prior to designation of universal service provision by tender. Net costs in this period totalled 7.7 million euros. Determination of this value for 2014 completes the entire process of defining the net costs of universal service for the period prior to the designation of the provider by public tender.

In 2016 (period subsequent to the designation of universal service providers by public tender), net costs of the universal service supported by the providers totalled around 5 million euros. Of the total, 1.9 million euros correspond to the universal service provision of the telephone service at a fixed location (provided by NOS); 2.5 million euros refer to the universal service provision of public pay-telephones (provided by MEO); and 636 thousand euros refer to the universal service provision of a comprehensive telephone directory and a comprehensive directory enquiry service (also provided by MEO).

These are the values for which the universal service providers will be granted reimbursement, with recourse to the universal service compensation fund.

It should be noted that, as a result of tender proceedings, the Portuguese State concluded the contracts which are in force with the current universal service providers and which establish, among other aspects, the obligations inherent to the provision of services, the period of validity and respective overall value to be financed in respect of universal service provision.

Table 1 - Provision of the universal service by the universal service providers designated by tender


Universal service: "Telephone Service at a Fixed Location” 

Universal service provision of public pay-telephones 

Universal service provision of a telephone directory and directory enquiries service

Designated Provider




Principal service obligations

Provision of access to the public communications network at a fixed location and provision of a publicly available telephone service through that connection.

Specific offers for retirees and pensioners, and for people with special needs.

Total stock of 8,222 public pay-telephones (corresponding to one public pay-telephone per parish with more than 1,000 inhabitants and further public pay-telephones installed in places of social interest).

  • Printed directory - area of residence free of charge, delivered to those who request it in the indicated period.
  • Electronic telephone directory - permanently available at
  • 118 Service - available 24 hours/day, 365 days/year.

Contract duration

5 years

5 years

3 years

Commencement of provision

01 June 2014

09 April 2014

14 September 2015

End of provision

31 May 2019

08 April 2019

13 September 2018

Overall financing

9 600 000 euros (1)

12 333 000 euros

1 900 000 euros (2)

(1) The amount of overall financing associated with provision of the fixed telephone service may be slightly higher if the universal service offer for retirees and pensioners is activated in the South and Islands.

(2) Estimated value - since the contract includes a variable component that depends, each year, on the number of directories expressly requested and proven to be delivered. Given the reduced number of directories that have already been requested each year, an overall value is estimated of around 1.9 million euros.

It is recalled that contributions to the fund are made by undertakings which reported eligible turnover in the sector giving them a weight equal to or greater than 1% of the sector's total eligible turnover.  Based on calculated eligible turnover, four companies are required to make contributions to the financing of the 2016 CLSU incurred by the universal service provider under the contracts; and to make an extraordinary contribution to the compensation fund in respect of 2014 (period prior to the tendering procedure): MEO, NOS, NOWO/ONI and VODAFONE.

ANACOM's draft decision was submitted to a prior hearing of the undertakings required to contribute to the compensation fund for 10 working days.