Mobile Internet reaches 7.8 million users

Actual users of the mobile Internet access service reached 7.8 million at the end of the first half of 2019 (1H2019), a rise of 8.6% compared to the same period of the previous year, which corresponds to a penetration of around 75.9 per 100 inhabitants. The increase in the use of these services was associated with the increase in mobile phone Internet users, who increased by 9.8% compared to 1H18, to 7.27 million - this means that nine out of ten mobile Internet consumers accessed via mobile phone.

In terms of traffic, mobile broadband Internet access traffic increased 36.1% compared to the same period of the previous year, to 153 petabytes (PB). Monthly traffic per active mobile Internet user increased 26.6% compared to the same period of the previous year, with each mobile broadband (MBB) user consuming an average of 3.5 GB per month.

The mobile service as a whole reached 170.1 accesses per 100 inhabitants at the end of 1H19. If only mobile stations with actual use were considered (excluding machine-to-machine - M2M connections), the penetration rate in Portugal would be 119.6. Furthermore, excluding the accesses exclusively made by data services and Internet access (cards associated with a PC/tablet/pen/router), the mobile services penetration would be 114.4 per 100 inhabitants.

The number of mobile accesses authorized totalled 17.5 million at the end of 1H19 (an increase of 1.1% compared to 1H18). Of these, 12.3 million (70.3% of the total) were actually used (excluding M2M) – since 2012 there has been no significant growth in the number of these subscribers. Excluding the number de accesses made by PC/tablet/pen/router, the number of mobile accesses rose to 11.8 million. The trend shown is explained by the trend for post-paid and hybrid plans, which grew 5.1% over the period of one year to 7.1 million (57.9% of the total), while pre-paid plans fell, to represent the remaining 42.1%.

In terms of traffic, 1H19 data indicate that mobile voice increased by 1.6% compared to the first half of 2018, in terms of minutes, with conversation time per mobile station being, on average, 202 minutes per month, two more than in the same period in the previous year. The development which took place in voice traffic in minutes was due, above all, to the growth in off-net traffic, which grew 5.3% compared to the first half of 2018.

In terms of market structure, MEO continued to be the provider with the highest share (42.1%) of active mobile accesses with actual use, followed by Vodafone and NOS with shares of 30.3% and 25%, respectively. Compared to the same period last year, NOS's share of mobile accesses increased by 0.3 p.p, while Vodafone's share remained unchanged and MEO saw its share decrease by 0.6 p.p.

In the first half of 2019, around 293 thousand mobile numbers were ported, an increase of 6.4% compared to the same period of the previous year.

In the case of the shares of subscribers with mobile broadband Internet access, MEO's share was 39.3%, followed by Vodafone with 30.4% and NOS with 28.6%. Compared to the same period last year, Vodafone’s and MEO’s share of mobile Internet users increased, respectively, by 0.3 p.p. and by 0.2 p.p., with NOS seeing its share decrease by 0.7 p.p.

NOS had the highest share of broadband internet traffic (40.9%), followed by Vodafone and MEO (30.4% and 28.3%, respectively). Compared to the same period last year, NOS’s share increased by 4.8 p.p. Vodafone’s and MEO’s shares decreased 4.2 p.p. and 0.5 p.p., respectively.

Consult the statistical report: