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Broadband to reach 50% of households in Portugal in 2010

 - 11/10/2005

Diário Digital published the following news item:

Broadband in Portugal has one of the lowest penetration rates in Europe. However, even though the current constraints that lead to slow growth still remain, penetration may reach 50% of the market in 2010, according to a study by the Arthur D. Little firm, published by the Competition Authority (AdC) on Tuesday.

Broadband penetration was 14.5% of Portuguese households in 2004. Forecasts for the next five years are based on operators’ expectations, yet will not haul Portugal out of the group of countries with the lowest level of penetration. This is because certain “structural” weaknesses are preventing mass adoption of broadband.

According to the study’s authors, a series of political and regulatory aspects could help overcome blocks on competition and development of broadband.

The report lists certain measures that could open up the market, namely by separating of the copper cable network, involving local councils in alternative networks and investing in infrastructure construction, as well as encouraging “separation of the local loop”.

Also, according to the study, access speeds and suppliers’ innovation efforts (VoIP and Triple Play) in Portugal fall below the standards of more mature markets. Despite the increases rolled out this year, access speeds are 40% lower than European partners and 84% below Asian market leaders.

Among the weaknesses identified in the Portuguese market, the report published by the AdC highlights demand and supply factors (common to the most mature markets), such as price, network infrastructures and number of personal computers/user qualifications.

Of the most pressing supply-related issues, notes the report, is the fact that in Portugal – where the incumbent holds 80% of the retail broadband market – the market is also vulnerable in other areas, such as being the 2nd most expensive in Europe in retail price terms (access-generated ARPU is one of the highest in Europe).

Nevertheless, the broadband penetration rate in Portugal (14.5%) compares favourably with the 16.3% and 14.7% in Germany and Spain respectively, and figures of roughly 13.9% in Italy, 13.5% (Germany) and 11% in the United Kingdom.

Last updated ( 01/08/2011 )