The Covid-19 pandemic increased monthly traffic per mobile service and the average duration of calls, which reached an all-time high of 184 seconds at the end of the first quarter, revealed the Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações (Anacom).
The average duration of calls, 184 seconds per call, was twenty seconds longer than the previous year, Anacom said in a statement this Tuesday.
Mobile voice traffic increased 11.9%, compared to the same quarter of 2019, reaching 7.9 billion minutes, influenced by the exceptional measures associated with the new coronavirus, such as the declaration of the state of emergency on March 19.
In that week, from 16 to 22 March, mobile voice traffic in minutes increased 39%, compared to the week from 2 to 8 March.
Changes in consumption patterns also had an impact on the number of minutes of conversation via mobile voice access, which averaged 223 per month, 23.1 more minutes than in the same period in 2019.
By type of call, the growth in voice traffic in minutes resulted from the increase in off-net (more 16.9%) and on-net (more 8.4%) traffic. Traffic to international networks, which had risen for 14 consecutive quarters, decreased 0.1%.
Mobile broadband Internet access (BLM) traffic increased 41.3%, compared to the same quarter last year, impacted by the effects of the state of emergency. Anacom estimates that, in the first four weeks of the state of emergency, mobile data traffic has grown by around 8.5%, on average.
Monthly traffic per active mobile Internet user increased 31.4% compared to the first quarter of 2019.
Each user consumed an average of 4.3 GB per month, reminding Anacom that the largest providers offered their customers 10 GB of mobile data at the beginning of the period in which the state of emergency was in force.
The number of mobile accesses enabled to use the service totaled 17.3 million, of which 12.2 million (70.9% of the total) were actually used (+ 0.1%). Excluding the number of accesses to PC / tablet / pen / router, there were 11.7 million mobile accesses.
Anacom explains the evolution verified by the increased penetration of convergent bundles, which integrate the mobile telephone service, as well as by the replacement of prepaid plans with postpaid plans.
This situation caused postpaid and hybrid plans to continue to grow, 5.4%, while prepaid plans have been falling since 2013, now representing 39.6% of the total, three percentage points less than in the period. homologous.
In terms of quotas, according to the communications regulator, MEO was the provider with the highest share of active mobile accesses with actual use (41.5%), followed by Vodafone (30.1%) and NOS (25, 8%).
Compared to the same period last year, NOS 'share increased by 0.9 percentage points, while MEO's and Vodafone's decreased by one point and 0.1 points, respectively ”, says Anacom.
In the first quarter, there were around 8 million effective users of the mobile Internet access service, an increase of 5.4% year-on-year, corresponding to a penetration of around 78.3 per 100 inhabitants.
This growth, according to Anacom, is associated with the 5.8% increase in Internet users on mobile phones, the widespread use of smartphones and the development of mobile applications.
In terms of shares of subscribers to mobile broadband Internet access, MEO's share was 37.4%, followed by NOS with 31.2% and Vodafone with 29.2%.
“NOS has become the second largest mobile Internet provider – its share has increased by 2.6 points, while the shares of Vodafone and MEO decreased by 1.6 pp and 1.5 pp, respectively,” adds Anacom.
International roaming traffic recorded increases in all types of traffic compared to the same period of the previous year, with emphasis on Internet traffic, which increased 41.3%.
"The more moderate evolution of the roaming indicators compared to previous periods will have been impacted by the restrictions imposed on international travel resulting from the pandemic situation", concludes Anacom.