Fixed broadband Internet traffic grows a record 62.5%

Total fixed broadband internet traffic increased by 62.5% in 2020, a figure much higher than that registered for 2019 (28.3%) and the last five-year average (41.6%).

The average monthly traffic per access was 198 GB, up 55.0% compared to 2019. This growth was much higher than the average of the last 5 years (32.5%). This is, moreover, the highest growth recorded since the collection of this indicator began (in 2008).

The traffic growth stems from changes in service usage patterns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a 36.3% increase in average traffic per access, compared to the trend that had been observed. By quarter, the increase was 43% in Q2 2020, 26% in Q3 2020 and 40% in Q4 2020. It is estimated that, had the pandemic not occurred, average fixed data traffic per access, instead of having grown by 55% in 2020, would have grown by only 19.3%.

Compared to the previous year, fixed broadband accesses increased by 193 thousand (+4.9%), thereby reaching 4.2 million, with ultrafast broadband exceeding 80% of the total number of accesses for the first time.

Fibre optics was the main means of access to fixed broadband internet (55.1% of total accesses; +4.5 percentage points than in 2019). FTTH was also the means of access that contributed the most to the growth in the number of accesses [+283 thousand (+14.1%) in the last 12 months].

Accesses supported on cable TV networks increased by 0.7%, and represented 28.9% of the total (-1.2 percentage points than 12 months ago). ADSL accesses maintained their downward trend, having decreased by 22.7% compared to 2019 (-20.4% in 2019), replaced by new generation accesses. ADSL accounted for 9.0% of total accesses (-3.2 percentage points). Fixed accesses supported on mobile networks increased by 3.7% (-2.2% in 2019), with a weight of 6.9% (-0.1 percentage points).

In terms of accesses, this service’s main providers were MEO (40.5%), the NOS Group (35%), Vodafone (20.7%) and the NOWO/Onitelecom Group (3.5%). In comparison with the previous year, Vodafone was the provider whose access share increased the most (+0.7 percentage points), while MEO was the provider which attracted the most clients in net terms, having increased its share by 0.2 percentage points. There was a decrease in the share of each of the NOS and NOWO/Onitelecom groups (0.7 and 0.2 percentage points, respectively).

MEO accounted for the highest share of residential subscribers (38.9%), followed by the NOS Group (37.2%), Vodafone (19.8%), and the NOWO/Onitelecom Group (3.9%). Vodafone and MEO’s market shares increased by 0.8 and 0.2 percentage points, respectively, while the NOS Group and NOWO/Onitelecom’s market shares decreased by 0.8 and 0.2 percentage points, respectively.

As regards fixed broadband traffic shares, MEO reached 38.5% by the end of 2020, followed by the NOS Group with a share of 34.9%. The shares of Vodafone and the NOWO/Onitelecom Group were 22.7% and 3.1%, respectively. In comparison with the previous year, NOS was the provider whose traffic share increased the most (by 3.6 percentage points). MEO, NOWO/Onitelecom and Vodafone shares fell by 2.4, 0.6 and 0.1 percentage points respectively.

Consult the statistical report: