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Summary of broadband development in Portugal
The key broadband goals are to reach a coverage of at least 30 Mbps for 100% of the population and a coverage of at least 100 Mbps for 50% of all households until 2020. These targets set in the national broadband strategy (Agenda Portugal Digital) comply with the targets of the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE). Another key goal of Portugal’s broadband plan is to ensure territorial cohesion and providing equal opportunities by promoting investments in rural areas.
National broadband strategy and policy
- The Ministry of Planning and Infrastructure (Ministério do Planeamento e das Infraestruturas) / Secretary of State for Infrastructures (Secretário de Estado das Infraestruturas) and the Ministry of Economy (Ministério da Economia) are responsible for the definition of the broadband policy and the political framework of the national broadband strategy. The Ministry of Economy ensures the overall coordination of Portugal’s Digital Agenda.
- The National Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications - Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações (ANACOM) has several responsibilities in the field of broadband. Its main targets are the promotion of competition, transparency and further development of communication networks and markets.
Main aims for broadband development
Portugal’s national broadband strategy was adopted on 31 December 2012 with targets for 2020. The short time goal of providing nation-wide basic broadband access has been met in October 2013. Download speeds of at least 40 Mbps for 50% of the population in rural municipalities in 2014, except the autonomous region of Madeira, are ensured.
An update of the broadband targets is being addressed by the Digital Agenda for Portugal approved in 2015 (Agenda Portugal Digital). Besides improving the broadband connectivity, the Digital Agenda for Portugal focuses on societal challenges, delivering better public services to citizens, promoting smart mobility, employment, e-commerce and the digital economy and on reducing the digital gap between urban and periphery regions.
Currently, discussions between Portuguese telecom leaders are being held with the aim of reaching agreements and structuring deals for the implementation of 5G networks, which is forecast to be fully functioning by 2025. ANACOM expects to stage a 5G spectrum auction by mid-2020, with the 700 MHz band (‘second digital dividend’) expected to come into play to underpin the operators’ future network ambitions.
Main measures for broadband development
Broadband mapping: Portugal benefits from a broadband infrastructure mapping initiative Centralized Information System (CIS) established by ANACOM. The infrastructure-mapping tool contains both information about the existing infrastructure suitable for carrying electronic communications networks as well as the planned ones. The main aim of CIS is to avoid inefficient duplication and inconvenience caused to citizens and businesses by frequent and extensive underground work.
National and regional broadband financial instruments
- State Aid: There are currently no specific regional broadband plans available, but regional development strategies that cover broadband-related topics. Large-scale public funding for broadband deployment ended several years ago. Portugal trusts in a market-driven approach ever since.
- Financial measures: the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a loan worth EUR 110 million contributing towards an investment of EUR 222 million by ZON-Optimus in the upgrade of its UMTS network and the deployment of its LTE network in 2013. Furthermore, the EIB is to supports with EUR 100 million the rollout of fixed next-generation access networks and technological development, including investments in the backbone network and IT systems (NOS Technological Strategic Plan). With the implementation of the project the promoter will extend its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and hybrid-fibre-coaxial (HFC) networks to cover mid-sized towns in the Portuguese hinterland, where it is still not present.
- DSTelecom’s is to extend coverage of rural areas with fibre networks in the context of the European Commission’s Connected Communities Initiative.
- Coverage of rural areas has been strengthened. Coverage obligations were imposed to mobile operators following the acquisition of 800 MHz in the multiband auction and within the framework of the renewal of rights of use of frequencies of the 2,1 GHz. 480 parishes (freguesias) benefited, most of them in rural areas. Additional 588 parishes will benefit from the coverage obligations imposed within the framework of the renewal of rights of use of frequencies of the 2,1 GHz from 2019. In this regard, the mobile broadband service to be made available must enable data transmission speeds of 30 Mbps.
Data on broadband development and technologies in Portugal
For the latest data on broadband coverage, subscriptions and penetrations, coverage of different broadband technologies and costs check the scoreboard reports and the country reports of the Digital Economy & Society Index (DESI).
Spectrum assignments for wireless broadband
Publications and press documents
- Study on National Broadband Plans in the EU-28
- Guide to High-Speed Broadband Investment
- Europe's Digital Progress Report 2017
- Broadband Connectivity Reports and Analyses
- Study on retail broadband access prices (as of 2016)
- Fixed broadband prices per country (as of February 2015)
- Study on broadband coverage in Europe (as of 2016)