Number of subscribers to bundled services rises by 3.4% in 2021

By the end of 2021, the number of subscribers to service bundles was 4.4 million, up 146 thousand (+3.4%) from the previous year. The growth observed, the lowest since the collection of this information began in 2011, continues to be associated with 4/5P offers (+128 thousand) and, to a lesser extent, with 3P offers (+20 thousand).

4/5P offers, the most popular, had 2.3 million subscribers (51.5% of total bundled offers), followed by 3P offers, with 1.7 million subscribers (38.9%). The percentage growth of 4/5P offers (6%) was above that registered in the previous year (5.5%) and below the average registered in the last four years (7.8%). Stand-alone or single play offers, which are characterised by not being provided as part of a bundle, represented 72.1% of mobile accesses and 15.4% of fixed accesses. Stand-alone offers represented 59.6% of the total amount of mobile and fixed accesses.

It is estimated that, by the end of 2021, 89.1 out of every 100 families subscribed to service bundles, 0.9 percentage points (p.p.) more than in 2020. According to European Commission data, between November and December 2020, the subscription rate of Portuguese families to bundled offers was higher than the European average (+26 p.p.), with Portugal in the 3rd  position in the ranking of the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU27).

According to information reported by the four main electronic communications providers, by the end of 2Q2021, around 12.5% of total bundle subscribers belonged to the non-residential segment. 2P offers had a higher weight among non-residential subscribers (25.7%) compared to residential subscribers (7.3%).

In 2021, revenues from bundled services reached around EUR 1791 million, increasing by 3.4% year-on-year (the lowest annual growth since 2018). Revenue from 4/5P offers represented 63.4% of the total.

The average monthly revenue per bundle subscriber was EUR 34.54 (excluding VAT). There was a decrease by 0.5% compared to 2020. The average monthly revenue was EUR 43.02 for 4/5P offers (-1.8%) and EUR 27.69 for 3P offers (+1.0%).

MEO was the provider with the largest share of bundled services subscribers (40.8%), followed by the NOS Group (35.9%), Vodafone (20.0%) and NOWO (3.2%). Compared to the previous year, Vodafone and MEO increased their share of subscribers (+0.7 p.p. and +0.3 p.p., respectively), while the shares of the NOS Group (-0.6 p.p.) and NOWO (-0.3 p.p.) decreased.

MEO had the highest revenue share of bundled services (41.1%), followed by the NOS Group (40.0%), Vodafone (16.8%) and NOWO (2.0%). Compared to 2020, there was an increase in the revenue share of Vodafone (1 p.p.) and MEO (0.4 p.p.) and a reduction in the shares of the NOS Group (-1.0 p.p.) and NOWO (-0.4 p.p.).

According to the European Commission (EC), around 15% of Portuguese households with bundled services changed provider during 2020 (+5 p.p. than the EU27 average). Half of the households that changed provider of bundled services reported having had some problem in the process of switching provider (+7 p.p. than the EU27 average), highlighting as main problems the temporary loss of service and the delay in getting all services up and running.