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Portugal - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 20 May 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 136

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Portugal’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the fixed-line, mobile and broadband sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure developments;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Mobile subscribers and ARPU;
  • Broadband market forecasts;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and industry issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE, 5G).

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- July 2019 (18th Edition)

Executive Summary

Portugal closing in on national fibre coverage

Portugal has a medium-sized telecom market with a strong mobile sector and a growing broadband customer base focussed on the delivery of fibre-based services. During the last few years the country has seen improving economic growth, following several years of austerity measures. Revenue among some operators remains under some strain, though investments in network upgrades are continuing in an effort to attract customers to high-end services.

Portugal’s broadband penetration has grown steadily in recent years, largely the result of joint efforts between the regulator and the key market operators which have invested in significant infrastructure upgrades. These operators are also focussed on fibre-based services, resulting in a migration of subscribers from DSL infrastructure. Under the ownership of the Altice Group, Altice Portugal is focussed on FttP, aiming to cover 5.3 million premises by 2020, and providing national coverage.

The cable sector has also shifted towards fibre, with the principal cableco NOS investing in fibre rather than DOCSIS upgrades. In addition, Vodafone Portugal provides fibre to about two-thirds of premises. Much of the growth in the fibre segment has resulted from shared infrastructure deals, including that between Vodafone and NOS. the government has also supported two open-access wholesale networks being built by dstelecom and Fibroglobal.

The mobile market is dominated by the incumbent Altice Portugal though it remains under pressure from the other network operators Vodafone Portugal and NOS. The MVNO market remains largely undeveloped, partly because network operators have their own low-cost brands. Collectively, MVNOs have about 2.1% share of the market.

Population coverage by 3G infrastructure is universal and so most investment has been directed to LTE and to incremental upgrades to network infrastructure. Operators have trialled 5G technologies, with a view to launching commercial services in late 2020.

This report introduces the major elements of the Portuguese telecom market, presenting statistics on the fixed telephony sector as well as an analysis of the major market players. Additional information is provided on the key regulatory issues, noting the status of interconnection, local loop unbundling, number portability and carrier preselection. The report also covers the fixed and fixed-wireless broadband markets, providing subscriber forecasts to 2023. In addition, the report profiles the mobile market, including statistics on network operators, a review of the key regulatory issues, a snapshot of the consumer market, and an analysis of mobile data services and technologies.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

  • Altice Portugal ramps up fibre roll out, aiming for 5.3 million connected premises by 2020;
  • Vodafone developing on fibre-network sharing agreement with NOS, retails 1Gb/s devices for customers;
  • Fibre subscriber base grows 24% in 2018;
  • Regulator sets schedule for release of 700MHz spectrum for 5G use;
  • Vodafone achieves 1Gb/s downlink speeds in LTE-A trials;
  • Decline in SMS traffic in wake of messaging alternatives;
  • Altice Portugal to replace copper network with FttP by 2020, reports continuing revenue growth in Q1 2019;
  • Regulator imposes wholesale tariff cuts for fibre access
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to Q4 2018, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q1 2019, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Altice Portugal (MEO), NOS (Optimus, Zon Multimedia), Vodafone Portugal, CTT, Lycamobile, Sonaecom, Cabovisão.

Henry Lancaster
July 2019

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