Tuesday 18 July 2023

5G Coverage in Portugal has Increased Significantly

Portugal has a well-developed mobile network. Population coverage by 3G infrastructure is universal, much of the country have access to 4G and 4G+ connectivity. This includes the island communities of Madeira and the Azores. Furthermore, 5G is increasingly available in Portugal, although for now, this is limited to the largest cities.   

Despite its relatively small size, the Portuguese mobile phone market is an increasingly competitive place. There are three network operators to choose from: MEO, Vodafone, and NOS. 

When it comes to subscribers, MEO leads the way with around 42% of the market share. Operated by the former state-controlled Altice Portugal, MEO has historically been dominant in the Portuguese market. However, other operators, such as Vodafone (30%) and NOS (24%), are closing the gap.

In the most recent Open Signal report all three operators performed very well, although NOS did best with three outright wins (Download Speed Experience, Excellent Consistent Quality and Core Consistent Quality) and 11 shared victories. 

Market leader MEO  owned by Altice Portugal launched its 5G network on January 1 2022. 5G is now available in all district capitals. The operator also says its 4G network now covers 99.7% of Portugal’s population. 

Earlier this year the National Communications Authority (Anacom) imposed a fine of 2.5 million euros on MEO, Altice Portugal, for "violation of the rules applicable to the termination of contracts".

NOS is the smallest operator in terms of subscribers but is quickly gaining ground due to its excellent coverage and services. 

As of April 2023 their 5G network covered 88% of the population, with 3,441 base stations reinforcing its market leadership in the technology.

Vodafone  the second largest operator acquired Nowo which had been the fourth operator  in Portugal, last year. Vodafone also recently signed European solar power purchase agreements with Iberdrola to deliver clean energy for Vodafone customers in Germany, Portugal and Spain. For Vodafone Portugal, the power purchase agreements (PPA) will provide the energy from the newly built Velilla solar photovoltaic (PV) plant located in Palencia, Spain.

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