87.4% of households had fixed broadband
At the end of the 1st quarter of 2022 (1Q2022), the penetration rate of fixed broadband residential customers was 88.4 per 100 private households, up 1.0 percentage points (p.p.) from the same quarter of the previous year1.
Fixed broadband grew by 3.6% in the last twelve months
Compared to the same quarter last year, the number of fixed broadband accesses increased by 149 thousand (+3.6%) to reach 4.3 million. This is the lowest growth rate since records began.
Fibre optic cable (FTTH) was the main form of access to fixed broadband Internet, reaching 61.0% of total accesses, up 4.6 p.p. from the first quarter of 2021 (1Q2021). FTTH was also responsible for the growth in the number of accesses. In the last 12 months, the number of accesses supported on fibre optics increased by 284 thousand accesses (+12.0%).
Accesses supported on cable TV networks decreased by 0.7%, and represented 27.4% of the total (-1.2 p.p. than 12 months ago). Fixed accesses supported on mobile networks decreased by 8.0%, and represented 6.0% (-0.8 p.p.). ADSL accesses maintained their downward trend, having decreased by 31.0%, replaced by new generation accesses. ADSL represented 5.4% of total accesses (-2.7 p.p.).
86.1% of accesses with advertised download speeds of over 100 Mbps
At the end of 2021, 86.1% of fixed broadband accesses were ultra-fast broadband accesses (i.e. download speed2 of over 100 Mbps), up 4.8 p.p. from the previous year.
In July 2021, Portugal was the country with the fourth highest share of accesses with speeds equal to or greater than 100 Mbps.
The increase in the share of ultra-fast broadband accesses occurred at the same time as the development of fibre optic networks (FTTH) and the introduction of DOCSIS 3.x in cable TV networks. These two types of networks accounted for 65% and 35% of accesses of over 100 Mbps, respectively.
Fixed broadband traffic fell by 4.2%
Total fixed broadband Internet traffic was down 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year, a period which saw an all-time high associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The average monthly traffic per access was 240.3 GB, 7.5% less than in 1Q2021.
It should be noted that the overall effect of COVID-19 on average traffic per access in 1Q2022 (+19.0%) was significantly weaker than in 1Q2021 (+56.2%). This evolution is likely associated with the end of the main pandemic control measures.
In the fixed broadband Internet access service markets, there are four companies with relevant shares of subscribers: MEO (40.7%), the NOS Group (34.3%), Vodafone (21.5%) and NOWO (3.1%). In comparison with the same quarter last year, Vodafone was the provider whose access share increased the most (+0.6 p.p.), while MEO was the provider that attracted the most customers in net terms, having increased its share by 0.1 p.p. The shares of the NOS Group and NOWO decreased 0.5 p.p. and 0.3 p.p., respectively.
If only residential accesses are considered, MEO had the highest share of subscribers (39.1%), followed by the NOS Group (36.5%), Vodafone (20.6%), and NOWO (3.6%). Vodafone and MEO’s shares increased 0.6 p.p. and 0.1 p.p., respectively, while the NOS Group and NOWO’s shares decreased 0.4 p.p. and 0.3 p.p., respectively.
As regards fixed broadband traffic shares, MEO reached 41.5%, followed by the NOS Group with 30.2% and Vodafone with 24.7%. NOWO’s share was 1.9%. In comparison with the same quarter last year, MEO was the provider whose traffic share increased the most (+2.8 p.p.), followed by Vodafone (+1.4 p.p.). NOS and NOWO’s shares decreased (4.2 p.p. and 0.1 p.p., respectively).
1 The values presented may not match those previously published due to the fact that the number of private households used in this report results from provisional data from the 2021 Census. This value is 2.1% higher than the value previously used (annual estimates for 2020).
2 Maximum speeds advertised by operators and communicated to consumers.