Miguel Almeida is targeting a five percent gain in Portugal's telecoms market as his newly-named operator takes aim at the country's incumbent.

The CEO of NOS, the new name for Zon Optimus, outlined his strategy at WeDo Technologies' Worldwide User Group meeting in Porto this week.

Zon Optimus, itself less than a year old following the merger of Portugal's number three mobile operator with its largest Pay-TV provider in 2013, thinks it is at the vanguard of the consolidation trend in Europe.

As the convergence of mobile and cablecos continues apace – Altice's acquisition of SFR in France last month being the most recent example – Almeida said take up of its quad-play service was "very fast".

"We have acquired nearly 150,000 new customers since launching our quad-play offering… and convergent offers are forecast to grow from 15 percent of the retail market [in Portugal] this year to 33 percent in 2018," the CEO told European Communications.

Despite the country having "three of the best mobile networks in the world", it is Pay-TV customers that the newly merged company has decided to focus on.

"Our aim is to upsell mobile services to Pay-TV customers and then offer them multiscreen services across all their devices," Almeida explained. "We're well down the road on this."

The company has roughly 1.5 million Pay-TV customers and 3.2 million mobile customers.

Both segments were declining on their own as competition in Portugal hots up.

Vodafone, for example, has invested heavily in fibre while market leader Portugal Telecom pre-empted the Zon Optimus merger by launching its own range of quad play offers, according to Almeida.

The CEO said he wants to grow NOS' share of the retail market by five percent to 30 percent over the next four years.

Over the same period, he intends to have driven through €800 million of cost savings, around half of which will come from streamlining network and IT infrastructure.

Meanwhile, there will be only 150 job losses overall in what Almeida called "a merger of equals".  

He went on: "Now we are the right size to compete with PT – our combined company has a 28 percent share of telecom revenues in Portugal."

But he has concerns. Despite the increased buying power that the merger will bring, the CEO said the rising cost of content – getting exclusivity of football rights in particular – is a worry.

In pointing out that mergers are "not good news for some of our suppliers", Almeida also revealed concerns over how that side of the industry is evolving.

"I would worry if the vendor space consolidates further. It will pose a challenge for operators in the future," he said.

NOS is not just targeting the retail market; Almeida said he is also looking to boost its share of the enterprise space by adding ICT services such as cloud storage to its offering.

However, the CEO admitted that PT will be stronger in the enterprise space overall.

If Portugal does live up to Almeida's claim of being a forerunner, then many in the industry will be paying attention to NOS's progress.

So what is his key message to peers looking at or already involved in consolidation? "Move fast and anticipate trends," he said.

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