CA releases Annual Monitoring Report on the Electronic Communications Markets

PCA has published the fourth Monitoring Report on the Electronic Communications Markets, for the year 2009. The document analyses the markets for fixed voice communications, mobile voice communications and broadband internet access in Portugal.
The Competition Authority has published the fourth Monitoring Report on the Electronic Communications Markets, for the year 2009. The document analyses the markets for fixed voice communications, mobile voice communications and broadband internet access in Portugal, in addition to the country’s relative position in Europe.
 
Prepared under the CA’s supervisory powers, the report has been published on an annual basis since the 2008 version.
 
The comparison of Portugal with the other EU15 Member States allows the country’s position to be ascertained in relation to the average for this group of countries. This statistical analysis is augmented with a dynamic assessment of the various indicators for Portugal in relation to the EU15 average and the Member States that, for the indicator selected, have presented the best and worst figures in each year.
 
Fixed Communications
 
With regard to fixed communications, in 2009 Portugal was the country that registered the highest number of customers with direct access who used alternative operators (41%), a dynamic that resulted from the spin-off of PT Multimédia (now Zon Multimédia) from Portugal Telecom and the investment by the alternative operators to the incumbent in the development of their own network infrastructure.
 
With regard to fixed-line call prices, Portuguese consumers paid a slightly lower price per minute than the average EU15 prices, for both local and long-distance calls. On the basis of the baskets used by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), the prices of fixed communication services in Portugal were lower than the EU15 average for large and medium-sized users, close to the average for small users and above average for the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) segment.
 
Mobile Communications
 
The Portuguese mobile market is characterised by a high level of concentration, since the sum of the shares of the two largest operators in Portugal (82%) is only six percentage points away from the maximum concentration level observed in the EU15.
 
The average price in Portugal, measured on the basis of the average revenue per minute, was 12 euro cents, slightly less than the EU15 average.
 
Although post-paid tariffs represented only 27% of customers in 2009, the CA also evaluated the monthly prices of the post-paid baskets for mobile communications. It found that prices were higher than the EU15 average.
 
Internet Access
 
With regard to broadband internet access, Portugal presented a penetration rate of 19% in January 2010, the second lowest in the EU15. However, this country registered the second highest penetration in the EU of mobile broadband internet access, with a rate of 16%.
 
The competition in the Portuguese market for internet access has become sharper, especially after the spin-off of PT Multimédia. The joint share of the competitors to the incumbent now represent 56%, or over half, of the market.
 
The average price for download speeds of between 12 and 32 Mbps was 33 euros in 2009, that is, the fifth lowest in the EU15, with a divergence from the average of around -20%. For speeds over 35 Mbps, which are less usual in this country, the average monthly price was the highest in the set of nine countries considered.
 
For the prices of broadband internet access, the present report used data from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).
 
For the 2008 report, the source of the CA’s information was different. It was the European Commission’s study Broadband Internet Access Cost (BIAC), carried out by Van Dijk Management Consultants.
 
The decision to choose a new source of information was connected with the ability to compare the indicators for a longer period of time and also with the fact that the underlying BIAC methodology is currently being revised.


(Nº: 9/2010)