Portuguese telcos focussed on replacing copper with fibre infrastructure

Portugal’s medium-sized telecom market has a strong mobile sector and a growing broadband customer base focussed on the delivery of fibre-based services. The country shows signs of emerging from several years in which it suffered from poor economic conditions which dented telecom revenue. Although operators’ domestic revenue is still under strain, there are encouraging signs of developing growth. Under the management of the Altice Group, revenue for Portugal Telecom increased 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2016, the first such increase in several years.

Pressure on operators has prompted considerable ownership changes in recent years. The market is now dominated by only a few players, including Portugal Telecom (with services marketed under the Meo brand), NOS (formerly Zon Multimédia) and Vodafone Portugal.

Despite some consolidation among players the Portuguese mobile market remains dominated by Portugal Telecom, followed by Vodafone and NOS. The market share held by Meo has fallen steadily in recent years, to below 44% by early 2017. The MVNO market remains undeveloped, partly because network operators have their own low-cost brands. Collectively, MVNOs have about 1.7% share of the market by subscribers.

Population coverage by 3G infrastructure is universal and so most investment has been directed to LTE and to incremental upgrades to network infrastructure. Altice Labs in February 2017 began working with Ericsson to develop 5G services and applications.

In recent years broadband penetration has grown rapidly, largely the result of joint efforts between the regulator and the key market operators which have invested in significant infrastructure upgrades focussed on fibre-based services. Portugal Telecom is aiming to cover 5.3 million premises with fibre by 2020. NOS and Vodafone Portugal are also pursuing fibre.

This report reviews 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 converged media, including statistics on videostreaming and bundled services as well as an analysis of the major players and service offerings. In addition the report profiles the fixed and fixed-wireless broadband markets as well as the mobile voice and data markets, assessing network operators and the key regulatory issues. Subscriber forecasts are provided to 2022.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Portugal – Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media – Statistics and Analyses

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