The total number of main telephone accesses installed at customer request stood at around four million accesses at the end of the first quarter of 2009, corresponding to a penetration rate of approximately 38.1 accesses per 100 inhabitants. This represents an increase over the previous quarter of 0.9% - the second time in two years that an increase has been seen in the number of accesses.
It is noted that the increase seen in the number of access results, above all, from new subscriptions to multiple play offers and is not reflected in an overall increase in traffic.
The number of installed public payphones this quarter stood at 35.2 thousand, 3.2% less than in the previous quarter and down 13.9% year-on-year.
The companies of the Portugal Telecom Group (Grupo PT) operating in these markets continue to have the majority of installed accesses. At the end of this period Grupo PT held about 67.2% of all accesses installed at customer request, 1.3% less than at the end of the previous quarter and 2.7% less than a year earlier.
There were around 3.2 million fixed telephone service customers using direct access, an increase of 1.7% on the previous quarter and an increase of 0.1% over the same quarter of 2008. This trend was significantly driven by offers from alternative providers based on GSM technology and the packaged offers of fixed telephone and cable television and/or Internet that have been appearing in the market.
This is the second consecutive quarter with an increase in the number of direct access customers, an occurrence not seen for 2 years. It should be noted that the increase in the number of customers occurred alongside a decrease in the number of Grupo PT’s direct access customers (-0.7% with respect to the previous quarter and -6.2% year-on-year).
Regarding indirect access using pre-selection, the number of customers fell by 5.7%, to 162 thousand during the quarter, which is the lowest number recorded since 2001. Compared to the same period of the previous year, the number of pre-selection customers fell by 34%.
Grupo PT’s share of direct access customers fell by 1.5% compared to the previous quarter and by 4.2% compared to a year earlier, to stand at 62.3% by the end of March. This fall is essentially a result of the new offers of the alternative providers based on technologies that differ from the traditional Fixed Telephone Service, especially packaged offers.
Total voice traffic originating on the fixed network during 1st quarter 2009 totalled around 2.056 billion minutes resulting from 652 million calls.
Compared to the previous quarter, and in contrast to the trend seen in the number of accesses installed at customer request and the number of direct access customers, the volume of minutes and calls fell by 1.1% and 2.6% respectively.
A decline was also seen year-on-year, both in terms of the number of minutes and in terms of call volume, falling by 1.7% and 5.9% respectively in comparison with the same quarter of 2008.
As far as traffic in minutes is concerned, the decline in total traffic in comparison to the first quarter of 2008 can be mostly explained by the sharp fall in dial-up internet access traffic (down 45.5%), resulting from the strong expansion of internet access using broadband technologies, and by the reduction in voice traffic. With respect to call traffic, the drop in total traffic in comparison to the same quarter of 2008 is, above all, the result of a drop in traditional voice traffic.
It is noted that the decline seen with respect to total traffic was slightly stronger than would be expected given the trends and seasonality of traffic.
Of the total number of voice calls made during the first quarter of the year, 13.8% were made using indirect access, 0.5 percentage points less than the figure recorded in the previous quarter and around 2.5 percentage points below the figure recorded in the first quarter of 2008.
Meanwhile, the companies of Grupo PT saw their share of voice traffic continue its downward trend, falling over the previous quarter both in terms of minutes (64.5% in March, 0.7 percentage points less than in the previous quarter) and in terms of the number of calls (65.3% in the quarter, 0.3% percentage points less than in the previous quarter).
- Fixed Telephone Service - 1st quarter 2009 https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=970263