81.5% of families had fixed broadband
At the end of the first quarter of 2020 (1Q2020), the penetration rate for fixed broadband residential customers was 81.5 per 100 private households, 3.6 percentage points (p.p.) up on the same quarter of the previous year. The recorded growth was lower than the previous year (4.3 p.p.).
Fixed broadband has reached 4 million accesses
Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the number of broadband accesses increased by 180 thousand (+4.7%), reaching 4.0 million. The growth seen in recent years is slowing.
Optical fibre (FTTH) was the main form of fixed broadband internet access (51.7% of total accesses, +4.8 p.p. compared to the 1st quarter of 2019). FTTH was the form of access that most contributed to growth in access numbers. In the last 12 months, the number of accesses supported by optical fibre increased by 278 thousand (+15.5%). The recorded growth, although very significant, is slowing down (FTTH grew by 22.9% in the 1st quarter of 2019).
Accesses supported by cable TV networks increased by 1.4%, the highest figure since the 3rd quarter of 2018, and represented 29.9% of the total (-1 p.p. year-on-year). The downward trend in accesses via ADSL continued, decreasing by 20.5% compared to the 1st quarter of 2019. ADSL represented 11.4% of the total accesses (-3.6 p.p.). Accesses supported by mobile networks at a fixed location increased by 0.9%, the first increase since the 4th quarter of 2018, and had a weight of 6.9% (-0.3 p.p.).
Record increase in monthly traffic per access due to the impact of COVID-19
Average monthly traffic from fixed internet broadband increased by 41.3% compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Average monthly traffic per access reached 160.6 GB, 34.9% more than in the 1st quarter of 2019. This is the highest figure ever recorded. A year ago, average traffic per access had grown by 26.2%.
This evolution was influenced by the impact of COVID-19. We estimate that on average fixed data traffic has increased by 59% during the state of emergency.
In absolute terms, the growth of average traffic per access (+41.6 GB) was the largest ever.
Shares per provider
In fixed broadband internet access service markets, four entities with significant subscriber shares are operating: MEO (40.3%), the NOS Group (35.5%), Vodafone (20.2%) and the NOWO/Onitelecom Group (3.7%).
MEO was also the largest provider of internet supported on optical fibre (FHHT) and on ADSL, having reached shares of 56.1% and 89.4%, respectively, at the end of the year. The NOS Group was the main provider of access to the internet supported on cable TV networks (87.9%) and supported on fixed location mobile networks (63.2%).
Compared to the 1st quarter of 2019, Vodafone was the provider whose share of accesses increased most (+0.7 p.p.), while MEO gained the most net customers, increasing its share by 0.1 p.p. The shares of the NOS Group and NOWO/Onitelecom Group fell (0.7 p.p. and 0.1 p.p. respectively).
If only residential access is taken into account, MEO had the highest subscriber share (38.8%), followed by the NOS Group (37.7%), Vodafone (19.2%) and the NOWO/Onitelecom Group (4.1%).