The number of mobile telephone service customers reached 9.34 million at the end of last year, indicate data collected by the Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações (ANACOM). The service's penetration rate stood at 89.8 telephones per 100 inhabitants, above the European average of 86.
This figure results from 9.5% growth over the previous year, equivalent to the three mobile operators' 800,000 new customers. Some 79% of all customers continued to prefer the prepaid mode of joining the service.
In 2003 a total of 5.8 billion calls were made from mobile telephones in Portugal, which by themselves generated more than 10 billion minutes, corresponding to annual growth of 4% and 8% respectively.
As was the case in previous quarters, most calls were intra-network connections. These were followed by connections originating or terminating in other mobile networks and only then by connections to or from fixed networks.
All these traffic typologies, counted in connection minutes, increased in 2003, except for mobile telephone connections to fixed telephones, which dropped by 3%, and fixed telephone connections to mobile telephones, which dropped by 8%. The traffic with the most positive upturn last year was communications between different mobile networks.
By the end of 2003 some 23,643 telephone numbers had been ported between mobile networks, corresponding to an increase in mobile portability adhesion on the order of 300% over the previous year.
During the 12 months under review, nearly 2.3 billion written messages were sent, 12% more than in 2002.
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