Fixed telephone service - 1st half 2023

Executive Summary

96.8% of households with a fixed telephone

In the 1st half of 2023 (1H2023), the penetration rate of main telephone accesses was 52.2 accesses per 100 inhabitants. The penetration rate of accesses installed on demand from residential customers reached 96.8 per 100 households, up 1.9 percentage points (p.p.) year-on-year.

Number of customers increased by 1.7%

In 1H2023, the number of direct access fixed telephone service customers was around 4.4 million, 75 thousand more (+1.7%) than in the first half of 2022 (1H2022). This growth is in line with the estimated historical trend and is related to the continued penetration of bundled offers that include fixed telephony.

Next generation networks responsible for the growth in the number of accesses

The pool of main telephone accesses totalled 5.5 million equivalent accesses, 95 thousand more than in the same period last year, the smallest increase (+1.8%) recorded since the second half of 2019. This growth was due to the increase in accesses supported by fibre optic and cable TV networks.

In 1H2023, accesses supported on next generation networks (FTTH, cable TV networks and mobile networks at fixed locations), accounted for 91.0% of total telephone accesses, and increased their weight by 2.4 p.p. compared to the same period last year. On the other hand, the number of analogue accesses fell by 25.3% y.o.y, to represent only 5.5% of total accesses.

Number of public payphones down by 12.4%

The number of public payphones installed totalled around 11.8 thousand, a decrease by 12.4% compared to 1H2022.

Traffic in minutes originating from public payphones also fell, by 17.4% in 1H2023. Since the first half of 2016, this type of traffic has fallen by 79.3%. This downward trend is explained by the replacement of this type of traffic by mobile phone calls and other forms of internet-based communication.

Traffic originating from the fixed network decreased by 17.1%

In the period under review, the volume of minutes originated in the fixed network decreased by 17.1 year-on-year.

The COVID-19 pandemic no longer had a significant impact on the average traffic per FTS access, which returned to the downward trend observed before the pandemic and to the levels estimated in the absence of the pandemic.

According to the type of call, the decrease was mainly due to the drop in fixed-to-fixed traffic (-18.9%) and, to a lesser extent, to the reduction in fixed-to-mobile traffic (-3.0%), in national traffic to short numbers and non-geographic numbers (-33.9%) and in outgoing international traffic (-23.4%).

Monthly traffic per access fell by 10 minutes

In 1H2023, on average 43 minutes per access were used per month, of which 28 minutes were for fixed-to-fixed calls, 9 minutes for fixed-to-mobile calls and 2 minutes for international calls. Compared to 1H2022, 10 minutes less were used per access per month (-18.7%).

Provider shares

In 1H2023, MEO’s share of direct access customers was 41.8%, followed by the NOS Group with 34.2%, Vodafone with 20.7% and NOWO with 2.6%. The share of the NOS Group and NOWO in direct access customers decreased by 0.2 p.p., while Vodafone’s share increased by 0.4 p.p. and MEO maintained its share. The degree of concentration decreased slightly.