The Telecommunications Operators Association (APRITEL) drew what it calls a rigorous portrait of the electronic communications sector, in a study that aims to value the industry's excellent performance and its contribution to a generation of prosperity. The objective was to enlighten consumers and promote the adoption of good practices and regulatory measures.
In the shared document, it highlights the forefront of technological innovation and Portuguese entrepreneurship, thanks to the investment made, placing the national market, in terms of 4G mobile broadband coverage in 2018, above the European Union average. Portugal has 99.2% coverage, for a European average of 98.9%. Regarding fiber coverage in 2018, Portugal took fourth place with 70%, compared to 30% of the European Union average. The podium led by Ltvia with 88%, Spain with 77% and Sweden with 72%.
According to the association, the sector currently represents 2.3% of GDP, as well as 17,265 direct jobs. However, revenues have been declining gradually over the past six years, by around 20%. But it highlights an excellent performance considering the level of stable and consistent investment in recent years, adding an average of one billion euros annually, between 2014 and 2018.
This means that the ratio of investments to revenues is the highest in Europe. In the 10 largest European companies, Deustche Telekom was the leader with 26%, followed by NOS with 24%. Altice Portugal comes in fourth with 20% and Vodafone Portugal in sixth with 19%. There has been a 22% increase in the number of services provided since 2009, as well as an increase in data consumption, in fixed and mobile networks.
APRITEL also points out that considering the quantity and quality of services included in the offers in Portugal and comparing the most used 3P and 4P offers with equivalent offers from other countries, Portugal is among the European countries with the lowest prices for electronic communications, based on in a study by Deloitte.
Regarding the purchase price parity, in the 3P package, for example, Portugal presents the average value in second place, with 34% lower than the European average, behind France (with an average price of 38.60 euros compared to 58.05 euros) of the value considered par with the purchasing power). And in the 4P package, it keeps the second place with 20% lower than the European average, below France (with an average of 59.94 euros compared to 75 euros of the European average). Austria and Germany are in third place depending on the packages. Portugal even has the lowest prices than France, but the French have greater purchasing power than the Portuguese.
Finally, the association highlights the contribution of the telecommunications sector to the evolution of society, be it in terms of health, education, culture and territorial cohesion, also looking to the future as the key to the economic development of the country.