Portugal’s medium-sized telecom market has a strong mobile sector and a fast-developing broadband sector which has focussed on fibre networks. The development of digital-TV services has progressed under cautious regulatory guidance, with a licence for digital-service transmission awarded to Portugal Telecom in mid-2008. The difficult economic conditions have seen operators’ domestic revenue fall in recent quarters. The market has seen significant merger activity, with Sonaecom’s Optimus division being merged with Zon Multimédia in mid-2013, becoming Zon Optimus before being rebranded as NOS. Portugal telecom is in the process of being acquired by Altice in a €7.4 billion deal, approval for which has required Altice to dispose of its local units Onitelecom and Cabovisão.
Given the rapid development of capable fixed-line broadband infrastructure, there has been considerable take-up of bundled services. Almost three-quarters of households took multiple services by the beginning of 2015. The main players are NOS and Portugal Telecom, while Vodafone has invested heavily in its own national NGN, with a view to extending its 1Gb;/s offerings more widely across its network.
The mobile market is served by a triopoly of MNOs, the incumbent’s Meo, Vodafone and NOS. Mobile penetration is above the EU average, while growth has been supported through customer use of multiple SIM cards. HSPA and LTE upgrades have considerably boosted the geographical reach and take-up of high-end mobile data services. Meo was the first operator to launch commercial LTE services, while Vodafone has more recently developed LTE-A capable of data rates of up to 450b/s.
This report assesses the major elements of Portugal’s 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. This report also considers the fast developing bundled services market, as also the cable, digital and satellite TV markets. It profiles Portugal’s fixed and wireless broadband markets, providing key statistics on the retail and wholesale sectors as well as subscriber forecasts to 2020. The report also analyses the 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.
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