Portugal has 9.6 million users of mobile telephones

There were 9.636 million users of mobile telephones in Portugal at the end of September, according to data submitted to ANACOM by the mobile operators. This figure, which indicates growth in the user base, is largely due to the mobile market's performance in the third quarter of the year, as the two previous quarters had seen a drop in the number of users.

The growth in growth in the number of users was 3.2% compared to the previous quarter, explained by the fact that the quarter coincides with the traditional holiday period, and 7.6% in year-on-year terms.

Most users continue to use prepaid cards, which account for 79% of the market, versus the 21% represented by subscription products.

The service's penetration rate stood at 92% in September, remaining above the community average, which was 84.4% during the same period.

From July through September about 1.5 billion calls and 2.7 billion minutes originated in the three national mobile networks - TMN, Vodafone and Optimus. These figures correspond to respective quarterly variations of 1.2% and 2.6%. In year-on-year terms the number of calls increased by 2.6% while the number of minutes rose by 5.6%.

Traffic to international networks saw the most growth - an increase of 18.5% in the number of calls and 13.3% in the volume of minutes. This is explained by the coincidence with the holiday period.

In the third quarter, traffic originating in mobile networks and terminating in fixed networks registered an increase of 1.9% in terms of calls and 5.1% in terms of minutes, the first time this occurred in 2004.

Traffic originating in fixed networks and destined for mobile networks dropped, in the number of calls by 1.9% over the previous quarter, and 4.5% over the same quarter in the previous year. Regarding minutes, there was a 1.5% increase over the previous quarter but a 4.5% drop in year-on-year terms.

Some 635 million messages were sent during the third quarter, for an increase of 5.1% over the previous quarter and 11% in year-on-year terms. Despite this growth, the number of monthly calls per user is above the number of SMS.

Regarding trunking mobile service, a total of 8,200 subscribers were registered at the end of September, a figure indicating 2% growth over the previous quarter and 7.4% in year-on-year terms. Two operators provide this service in Portugal: Radiomóvel and Repart.