94.4% of households have a fixed telephone
In the 1st quarter of 2022 (1Q2022), the penetration rate of main telephone accesses was 51.7 accesses per 100 inhabitants. The penetration rate of accesses installed at the request of residential customers was 94.4 per 100 private households, 0.4 percentage points (p.p.) less than in the same quarter last year1. The reduction was due to the fact that the growth rate of residential accesses was lower than the growth rate of private households.
The number of customers increased by 1.9%
In 1Q2022, the number of fixed telephone service customers using direct access was around 4.3 million, up 82 thousand (+1.9%) on the first quarter of 2021 (1Q2021). The reported growth is consistent with the estimated historical trend and is associated with the growing penetration of bundled offers that include the fixed telephone service.
Next generation networks responsible for the growth in the number of accesses
The pool of main telephone accesses reached 5.3 million equivalent accesses, 112 thousand more than in the same quarter of the previous year. The growth recorded (+2.1%) was due to the increase in accesses supported over fibre optics and cable TV networks (+317 thousand accesses).
In 1Q2022, accesses supported on new generation networks (FTTH, cable TV networks and mobile networks at a fixed location), represented 85.5% of telephone accesses, and increased their weight by 3.6 p.p. when compared to the same quarter the previous year.
Public payphones with largest drop since 2012
The number of public payphones in place was around 13.7 thousand, a fall of 13.6% compared to 1Q2021, the largest since 2012.
Traffic from the fixed network fell by 19.3%
During the period under review, the volume of minutes from the fixed network decreased by 19.3% compared to the same quarter last year. This decrease contrasts with the increase in 1Q2021 (+4.6%), a quarter when the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were visible.
The pandemic caused a reversal of the downward trend in traffic that had been observed since 2013. In 1Q2022, the decrease resulted from the reduction in the effect of COVID-19 on fixed telephone traffic, possibly following the removal of the main restrictions associated with the control of this disease. The effect of COVID-19 on average traffic per access is estimated to have been +32.6% in 1Q2021 and +18.1% in 1Q2022.
According to call type, the decrease was mainly due to the decline in fixed-to-fixed traffic (-23.6%) and, to a lesser extent, to the reduction in fixed-to-mobile traffic (-14.2%), in national traffic to short numbers and non-geographic numbers (-27.9%) and in outgoing international traffic (-18.1%). In 1Q2021, fixed-to-fixed traffic and fixed-to-mobile traffic had increased by 0.7% and 30.5%, respectively.
Monthly traffic per access decreased by 15 minutes
In 1Q2022, an average of 57 minutes per access were consumed per month, of which 37 minutes were fixed-to-fixed calls, 10 minutes were fixed-to-mobile calls and 2 minutes were international calls (Figure 8). In comparison with 1Q2021, 15 less minutes were consumed per month per access (-21.0%).
In 1Q2022, MEO’s direct access customer share reached 41.8%, followed by NOS Group with 34.5%, Vodafone with 20.1% and NOWO with 2.8%. The direct access customer shares of NOS, NOWO and MEO fell by 0.5, 0.3 and 0.2 pp, respectively, with Vodafone’s share increasing by 0.8 pp. The level of concentration decreased slightly, but remains high.
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).