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Portugal - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Multi-spectrum auction kick-starts LTE services expansion in Portugal

BuddeComm’s annual publication, Portugal - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media markets in one of Europe’s smaller countries yet having a progressive telecoms market. The report includes the regulator’s market data to June 2012, telcos’ financial and operating data to September 2012, and market developments to November 2012.

Economic background

Portugal’s telecom market provides one of the highest contributions to GDP in the EU. And the stagnation of the sector country is among those in Europe most affected by the crisis. The government’s high proportion of debt to GDP has continued to jeopardise publicly funded telecom infrastructure investment and placed a greater burden on the private sector to deliver fibre-based infrastructure. The newly elected government has set budget deficit targets to 2015. Spending cuts required to achieve the fiscal overhaul are expected to cause Portugal’s economy to have contracted by 3% in 2012, affecting growth, consumer spend and business investment.

Telecom market overview

Broadband penetration is below the EU average while mobile penetration is among the highest. The incumbent Portugal Telecom has seen its share of the total traffic market (voice and internet) gradually fall in the face of competition, though it retains a dominant share in both the voice and DSL markets. Market revenue is expected to fall slightly to 2013, in line with lower sector investment, as operators face regulatory burdens compounded by consumers spending less on services. Operators have reported declining revenue for several quarters, and little respite is anticipated in the near future. PT has weathered the times better than competitors on the strength of its subsidiaries in Brazil.

Mobile market

The mobile sector is now the largest sector in the telecom market in terms of revenue. MNOs have focussed on mobile data services, investing in network upgrades for HSPA and LTE since 2011. TMN and Optimus both expect to provide 80% population coverage for their LTE networks by the end of 2012. The sector will develop swiftly in 2013 following the auction of spectrum in the 2.6GHz band.

Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2013
Sector | 2010 | 2013 (e)
Subscribers to telecom services (million):
Fixed broadband subscribers | 2.07 | 2.5
Mobile broadband | 16.47 | 17.12
Fixed-line telephony | 4.48 | 4.61
Mobile (SIM cards) | 16.47 | 16.15
Telecom penetration by service:
Fixed broadband | 21% | 31%
Mobile telephony | 155% | 164%
Fixed-line telephony | 40% | 43%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Market Highlights

Data revenue as a proportion of total mobile revenue continues to grow at 2-4% per year following a number of promotional efforts by operators to increase use of data services and promote wireless broadband solutions. The proportion of non-SMS related data services is also increasing.

Following LTE trials, MNOs now have extensive commercial services in place. Population coverage is nearing 80%, which is having a considerable effect on the availability rural broadband.

Portugal’s market for bundled services and IP broadcasting has a strong base in the country’s broadband network: triple and quad play has become increasingly popular during the last two years as operators’ investment in infrastructure upgrades bear fruit and customers take advantage of faster bandwidth, single billing convenience and cheaper prices resulting from greater competition.

An effective nationwide strategy for deploying fibre involves the cooperation of multiple operators, the government, and public subsidies. As a result, FttX in 2012 accounts for about 75% of all new broadband connections.

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Portugal.

It provides further information on:

Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
The impact of the global economic crisis;
Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
Mobile data market developments in coming years in light of spectrum auctions and new license awards;
3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA and LTE;
Broadband migration to an FttH architecture;
Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
ARPU statistics and forecasts.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.


1. Key Statistics
2. Telecommunications Market
2.1 Overview of Portugal’s telecom market
3. Regulatory Environment
3.1 History
3.2 Revised NFR
3.3 Regulatory authority
3.3.1 National Communications Authority
3.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in Portugal
3.4.1 Privatisation of Telecom Portugal
3.4.2 Interconnect
3.4.3 Access
3.4.4 Fibre access
3.4.5 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
3.4.6 Number Portability (NP)
3.4.7 Wholesale Line Rental (WLR)
4. Fixed Network Operators
4.1 Overview of operators
4.2 Portugal Telecom
4.3 Oni
4.4 Sonaecom
4.4.1 Novis
4.5 AR Telecom
4.5.1 Jazztel (historic)
4.6 ZON Multimédia
5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
5.1 National telecom network
5.1.1 Next Generation Networks (NGNs)
5.2 International infrastructure
6. Broadband Market
6.1 Overview
6.1.1 Broadband statistics
6.2 Cable modems
6.2.1 ZON Multimédia
6.2.2 Cabovisão
6.3 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
6.3.1 Portugal Telecom
6.3.2 Sonaecom
6.3.3 ADSL2+
6.3.4 Wholesale
6.3.5 Wholesale prices and retail price difference
6.4 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
6.4.1 Sonaecom
6.4.2 ZON Multimédia
6.4.3 Portugal Telecom
6.4.4 Vodafone
6.5 Broadband over Powerline (BPL)
6.6 Mobile broadband
6.7 Wireless broadband
6.7.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
6.7.2 WiFi
7. Digital Media
7.1 Overview
7.2 Key general trends
7.3 Business models
7.3.1 Bundled services
7.4 Digital TV (DTV)
7.4.1 Overview
7.4.2 TV-over-DSL (IPTV)
7.4.3 TV over FttH/B
7.4.4 Cable TV (CATV)
7.4.5 Satellite-based digital pay-TV developments
7.4.6 Digital Terrestrial TV
7.4.7 Free-to-Air (FTA) TV
7.4.8 VoIP services
7.4.9 Video-on-Demand
8. Mobile Communications
8.1 Overview of Portugal’s mobile market
8.1.1 Mobile statistics
8.2 Regulatory issues
8.2.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
8.2.2 Roaming
8.2.3 Mobile number portability (MNP)
8.2.4 Mobile termination rates (MTRs)
8.2.5 Network sharing
8.3 Mobile technologies
8.3.1 Digital
8.3.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
8.4 Major mobile operators
8.4.1 TMN
8.4.2 Vodafone
8.4.3 Optimus
8.4.4 OniWay exits the market
8.4.5 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
8.5 Mobile voice services
8.5.1 Prepaid
8.5.2 Fixed-mobile convergence (FMC)
8.6 Mobile Messaging
8.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
8.6.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
8.7 Mobile data services
8.7.1 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
8.7.2 Push-to-Talk (PTT)
8.7.3 High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA)
8.7.4 Evolved HSPA (HSPA+)
8.7.5 High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA)
8.7.6 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
8.7.7 Mobile TV
8.7.8 TETRA (TErrestrial Trunked RAdio)
8.7.9 Mobile content and applications
9. Forecasts
9.1 Forecasts – Broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2012; 2020
9.1.1 Scenario 1 – higher broadband subscriber growth
9.1.2 Scenario 2 – lower broadband subscriber growth
9.2 Forecasts Mobile
9.2.1 Forecasts – UMTS subscribers – 2009 - 2012; 2015
9.2.2 Forecasts – mobile ARPU – 2005 - 2012; 2015
10. Glossary of Abbreviations
List of Tables, Charts and Exhibits
Table 1 – Country statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 2 – Telecom revenue and investment statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 3 – Telephone network statistics – 2012 (Jun)
Table 4 – Internet user statistics – 2012 (Jun)
Table 5 – Broadband statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 6 – Mobile statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 7 – National telecommunications authority
Table 8 – Telecom market as proportion of GDP – 2006 - 2012
Table 9 – Telecom market investment – 2004 - 2012
Table 10 – Telecom market value – 2000 - 2012
Table 11 – Unbundled loops – 2005 - 2012
Table 12 – Number and type of access lines: analogue and digital – 2005 - 2012
Table 13 – Portugal Telecom wholesale lines – 2008 - 2011
Table 14 – Fixed telephone customers, access type and shared access lines – 2004 - 2012
Table 15 – Portugal Telecom’s share of direct access customers – 2005 - 2012
Table 16 – Cumulative fixed-line numbers ported – 2003 - 2010
Table 17 – Fixed-line revenue, by type – 2007 - 2012
Table 18 – Share of fixed-line access installations by operator – 2009 - 2012
Table 19 – Portugal Telecom accesses and subscribers by sector – 2009 - 2012
Table 20 – Portugal Telecom domestic financial data – 2005 - 2011
Table 21 – Portugal Telecom Group financial data – 2010 - 2011
Table 22 – Portugal Telecom domestic revenue by segment – 2010 - 2012
Table 23 – Sonaecom fixed-line financial data by sector – 2006 - 2012
Table 24 – Sonaecom financial data – 2006 - 2012
Table 25 – Sonaecom fixed-line subscribers by sector – 2008 - 2012
Table 26 – ZON Multimédia subscribers by type – 2007 - 2012
Table 27 – ZON Multimédia financial data – 2007 - 2012
Table 28 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1999 - 2013
Table 29 – Fibre infrastructure – 2007 - 2011
Table 30 – Internet subscribers by access type – 2005 - 2012
Table 31 – Internet revenue, fixed and mobile – 2008 – 2012
Table 32 – Proportion of broadband subscribers by access type – 2007 - 2012
Table 33 – Total broadband subscribers by type – 2000 - 2013
Table 34 – Broadband subscriber annual change year-on-year – 2002 - 2013
Table 35 – Broadband penetration by sector – 2007 - 2012
Table 36 – Share of broadband accesses by operator – 2009 - 2012
Table 37 – Fixed-line broadband traffic – 2008 - 2013
Table 38 – Fixed-line and mobile broadband traffic per month per customer – 2008 - 2011
Table 39 – Proportion of broadband subscribers by date rate – 2010 - 2011
Table 40 – Share of cable broadband accesses by operator – 2003 - 2011
Table 41 – ZON Multimédia cable broadband subscribers – 2004 - 2012
Table 42 – Portugal Telecom DSL broadband subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Table 43 – Sonaecom broadband subscribers – 2008 - 2011
Table 44 – Sonaecom equipped exchanges – 2008 - 2011
Table 45 – Portugal Telecom wholesale accesses – 2004 - 2011
Table 46 – FttX subscribers – 2008 - 2013
Table 47 – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Table 48 – Share of mobile broadband subscribers by operator – 2010 - 2011
Table 49 – Mobile broadband traffic – 2009 - 2013
Table 50 – Mobile broadband revenue – 2007 - 2013
Table 51 – Broadcasting subscribers by platform – 2008 - 2011
Table 52 – Penetration of TV subscribers by type – 2008 - 2011
Table 53 – Subscribers to bundled services – 2007 - 2011
Table 54 – Population take-up of bundled services by type – 2008 - 2011
Table 55 – Bundled services revenue by type – 2008 – 2011
Table 56 – ZON Multimédia triple play subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Table 57 – IPTV subscribers – 2009 - 2012
Table 58 – Portugal Telecom pay-TV subscribers – 2008 - 2012
Table 59 – FttH/B IPTV subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Table 60 – TV subscriber share by operator – 2004 - 2012
Table 61 – CATV subscribers and households – 2008 - 2013
Table 62 – ZON Multimédia cable and TV subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Table 63 – Satellite TV subscriber households – 1998 - 2013
Table 64 – VoIP subscribers – 2010 - 2013
Table 65 – Nomadic VoIP subscribers – 2006 - 2013
Table 66 – Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rate (regulator data) – 1999 - 2013
Table 67 – Mobile sector revenue – 2004 - 2013
Table 68 – Mobile operators’ market share of subscribers – 2004 - 2012
Table 69 – 3 G subscribers by type – 2009 - 2013
Table 70 – Multiband auction results – 2012
Table 71 – Roaming in call traffic volume and messages – 2003 - 2012
Table 72 – European roaming charges – 2007 - 2011
Table 73 – Cumulative ported mobile numbers – 2004 - 2010
Table 74 – MTRs – 2009 - 2012
Table 75 – 3G video calls and traffic data – 2007 - 2012
Table 76 – 3G subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Table 77 – TMN ARPU and data percentage – 2006 - 2012
Table 78 – TMN subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Table 79 – TMN mobile revenue – 2010 - 2012
Table 80 – Vodafone Portugal subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Table 81 – Vodafone Portugal subscribers, proportion prepaid – 2006 - 2012
Table 82 – Vodafone monthly ARPU: prepaid, contract and blended – 2005 - 2012
Table 83 – Vodafone financial data – 2007 - 2012
Table 84 – Optimus mobile subscribers – 2003 - 2012
Table 85 – Optimus operational statistics – 2006 - 2012
Table 86 – Optimus financial data – 2006 - 2012
Table 87 – Optimus revenue by type – 2006 - 2012
Table 88 – Mobile prepaid subscribers, proportion prepaid – 2003 - 2012
Table 89 – SMS messages sent annually and annual change – 2004 - 2012
Table 90 – SMS messages sent per user per month – 2010 - 2012
Table 91 – Premium SMS messages sent – 2010 - 2012
Table 92 – MMS sessions – 2007 - 2013
Table 93 – MMS messages sent – 2010 - 2012
Table 94 – Mobile internet sessions and traffic – 2007 - 2012
Table 95 – Mobile video calls and traffic – 2010 - 2012
Table 96 – Mobile TV sessions and traffic – 2010 - 2012
Table 97 – Mobile TV subscribers – 2010 - 2012
Table 98 – Mobile TV revenue – 2007 - 2012
Table 99 – Forecast broadband subscribers – higher market growth scenario – 2010 - 2013; 2020
Table 100 – Forecast broadband subscribers – lower market growth scenario – 2010 - 2013; 2020
Table 101 – Forecast UMTS subscribers – 2009 - 2012; 2015
Table 102 – Forecast monthly mobile ARPU – 2005 - 2012; 2015
Chart 1 – Portugal Telecom wholesale lines – 2008 - 2011
Chart 2 – Fixed-line revenue, by type – 2007 - 2012
Chart 3 – Portugal Telecom financial data – 2005 - 2011
Chart 4 – Sonaecom fixed-line financial data by sector – 2006 – 2012
Chart 5 – Sonaecom financial data – 2006 – 2012
Chart 6 – Sonaecom fixed-line subscribers by sector – 2008 - 2012
Chart 7 – ZON Multimédia subscribers by type – 2007 – 2012
Chart 8 – ZON Multimédia financial data – 2007 - 2012
Chart 9 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2003 – 2013
Chart 10 - Internet subscribers by access type – 2005 - 2012
Chart 11 – Proportion of broadband subscribers by access type – 2007 - 2012
Chart 12 – Total broadband subscribers by type – 2002 – 2013
Chart 13 – Portugal Telecom wholesale accesses – 2004 – 2011
Chart 14 – FttX subscribers – 2008 - 2013
Chart 15 – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Chart 16 – Share of mobile broadband subscribers by operator– 2010 - 2011
Chart 17 – Subscribers to bundled services – 2007 - 2011
Chart 18 – ZON Multimédia triple-play subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Chart 19 – Mobile subscribers and SIM penetration rate (regulator data) – 2003 - 2013
Chart 20 – Mobile operators’ market share – 2004 - 2012
Chart 21 – Roaming in call traffic volume and messages – 2003 - 2012
Chart 22 – 3G video calls and traffic data – 2007 - 2012
Chart 23 – 3G subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Chart 24 – Vodafone monthly ARPU: prepaid, contract and blended – 2005 - 2012
Chart 25 – Vodafone financial data (year to Mar) – 2007 - 2012
Chart 26 – Optimus EBITDA, capex – 2006 – 2012
Chart 27 – Optimus revenue by type – 2006 – 2012
Chart 28 – Mobile prepaid subscribers, proportion prepaid – 2003 – 2012
Chart 29 – SMS messages sent annually and annual change – 2004 – 2012
Chart 30 – Mobile internet sessions and traffic – 2007 – 2012
Exhibit 1 – EU – The New Regulatory Framework (NRF)
Exhibit 2 – Access and the local loop
Exhibit 3 – Overview of digital media

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