The Portuguese National Statistics Institute (INE) concluded that last year, 98% of the medium size companies in Portugal (considered those that have a total of between 50 and 249 employees) used the Internet while 97% used email, reflecting the wide spread use of technology in Portuguese businesses.
The number of Internet users in Portugal has been increasing. At the end of the second quarter of 2006 there were nearly 1,538 million Internet access service users in Portugal, giving an increase of about 16.4% percent compared to the second quarter of 2005. The number of broadband customers reached 1,331 million by the end of the first quarter of this year, 58.ooo more users than in the previous quarter. This figure is an increase of 29.2% percent compared to the same quarter of last year.
Smaller companies, those with employees between 10 and 49, use Internet or email technologies at roughly 79,8%. While larger companies with over 250 employees have a remarkably strong rate of Internet and email usage, at a rate of 99,8%.
The use of information technology is most apparent in enterprises dedicated to banking, financial and personnel services while the construction sector reveals the lowest level of penetration of information technology.
Portuguese companies are increasingly aware of the need for security to protect their data. The large majority of companies are now using some type of information security. More than 79% of companies with 10 or more people have at least one security appliance installed. 99% of large corporations use information security appliances while at least 94% of medium sized companies have security appliances installed.
The growing number of Internet users, both public and private, in Portugal provides a significant opportunity for U.S. companies that wish to enter the Portuguese market in terms of partnerships or equipment supply. Portuguese have an appreciation of U.S. technology and understand the need to partner with suppliers and service providers.