Portugal - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts
Merger activity sees creation of ZON Optimus as a full service telco
Portugal’s medium-sized telecom market has a strong mobile sector and a growing broadband customer base well served by both the cable and DSL platforms. The country’s difficult economic conditions have operators’ domestic revenue fall in recent quarters. Cogeco Cable sold the flagging Cabovisão in early 2012 for a considerable loss, while the market has also seen significant merger activity, with Sonaecom’s Optimus division being merged with ZON Multimédia in mid-2013, becoming ZON Optimus. The 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.
In the broadband sector, cable has showed strong growth in recent years. The incumbent, Portugal Telecom, and its subsidiaries control most of the DSL market, but new regulatory provisions have granted easier and cheaper access for alternative ISPs. All operators are focussing on increased broadband speeds, while the regulator has maintained the impetus for local loop unbundling. The fibre market remains underdeveloped, though regulatory measures coupled with substantial investments among operators should see significant growth in coming years.
Portugal has seen considerable development in the converged services market. The switch to digital TV broadcasting was completed in April 2012. Portugal Telecom’s quad-play service, launched in 2013, has tapped into the popularity of bundled offerings. The report assesses the major elements of the Portuguese market for converged media, presenting statistics on the cable, digital and satellite TV markets and an analysis of the major players and service offerings.
Portugal’s mobile market is served by a triopoly of MNOs, the incumbent’s TMN, Vodafone, and now ZON Optimus. Mobile penetration is above the EU average, while growth has been supported through the popular use of multiple SIM cards. All operators have invested in LTE networks in a bid to capitalise on mobile data services, and so offset declining voice revenue. The MVNO market remains undeveloped, though network operators have their own low-cost brands. The report profiles Portugal’s mobile market, providing statistics on network operators, a review of the key regulatory issues, a snapshot of the consumer market, and an analysis of mobile data services including SMS, Push-to-Talk and mobile TV.
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year