Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Best Practice – Portugal Telecom, Incumbent gains competitive advantage with FTTH

Portugal has become one of the most active FTTH markets in Europe and the incumbent operator Portugal Telecom (PT) is at the centre of the action.
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Basic information



Source: Google maps

Duration of the project

Deployment started in 2008 and finished one year later; extension of the network is being evaluated.

Number of households supplied

Up to 2011, more than 1.6 Mio households equivalent to 40% of primary households in Portugal (1.600.000/3.997.378) and to 27% of total households in Portugal (1.600.000/5.877.991)


Optical fibre (FTTH), GPON with RF overlay for analogue TV services


From 6 Mbps downstream/ 1Mbps upstream to 400 Mbps downstream/ 40Mbps upstream

Building up Organisation / Service provider

Vertically integrated – PT (Portugal Telecom) builds, operates and sells services on the network

Average price of standard service

Wide range of packages from 30,99 EUR to 179,99 EUR including quadruple play packages with TV (from 15 to 130 channels), Fixed Broadband service (from 6 Mbps/ 1Mbps to 400 Mbps/ 40Mbps), Mobile Broadband service (100 MB free) and fixed voice service - from 32,49 EUR/ month to 179.99 EUR/ month.

Background information

Unique characteristic

  • Delivering a robust TV offering with a wide range of TV channels and on-demand
  • Personalised video services across multiple platforms
  • More choice and better customer experience

Portugal Telecom successes

  • Over a period of roughly 12 months, PT has passed 1 Mio households with FTTH
  • Having identified a commercially attractive area for the deployment, PT first carried out a detailed site survey, which informed the technical design and optimisation of the network
  • Using the passive optical network for less space requirements in ducts and lower energy requirements
  • Providing a better service for the costumers
  • The vertical cabling – getting fibre distributed to individual homes inside apartment blocks
  • Special attention to the design rules for in-building cabling and the network test/acceptance procedures

The extended network

Deployment started in 2008 and finished one year later; extension of the network is being evaluated.


With each household having nearly three TV sets on average, the pay TV market in Portugal is extremely important for both cable and telecoms operators. PT had already launched IPTV services in 2007 over its upgraded DSL networks, but with cable operators starting to offer high-speed broadband and voice services in addition to TV.


  • Optimising the process of broadband deployment, considering the needs and the most suitable techniques
  • Reduction and optimization of the installation time
  • The use of bend-insensitive fibre, strong technician training and strict technical procedures for installation

For more information

Last updated on 02/05/2014