Telecom market overview
The Dutch telecom market, boasting one of the most developed infrastructures in Europe, supports the highest regional fixed-broadband penetration as well as high mobile penetration. The success of the mobile sector since 2006 has largely been due to strong competition among MNOs and the range of MVNOs. The regulator has encouraged further competition though allocating three blocks of spectrum to new entrants in the forthcoming multi-band auction. This will offer a significant boost to LTE, which will further develop commercially as operators secure additional spectrum.
The market has benefited from cross-platform competition, contributing to the country having one of the region’s highest penetration rates. Overall growth has been stable since 2007, with a continuing trend for DSL subscribers to migrate to cable or FttH. The main competitive driving force is now between FttH and cablecos looking to capitalise on their extensive DOCSIS3.0 footprint while planning for the developing 3.1 upgrade. KPN, which has abandoned FttC in favour of FttH, has in some areas begun to migrate remaining DSL subscribers to FttH, thus aiming to forestall the potential churn of customers to rival cablcos.
Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2013
|Subscribers by sector (million):|
|Fixed broadband subscribers||6.43||6.79|
|Penetration by sector:|
- In May 2012 the Dutch Parliament passed the world’s first net neutrality legislation, affecting mobile and fixed internet networks.
- Pending legislation will make the ACM, the merged authority incorporating OPTA, the Consumer Authority and the NMa, responsible for telecoms regulation from the beginning of 2013. The ACM will be run by a three-member board focussed on consumer protection, industry-specific regulation, and competition oversight.
- Overall average realised download speeds have risen from 2.8Mb/s in 2006 to 5Mb/s in 2008 and 16Mb/s in early 2012. This jump in data speed is largely the result of the growing number of subscribers on fibre networks and the increased speeds from cable operators.
- The overall number of SMS continued to fall in 2011 as consumers migrated to other applications such as Skype and WhatsApp.
- The government’s plans to auction spectrum in the 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 1900MHz, 2.1GHz and 2.6GHz bands later in 2012 will include 60MHz of paired spectrum from the Digital Dividend. The new licences, to will run until 2030, allow for two new players to encourage market competition.
- The Netherlands in mid-2012 became the first country in Europe to adopt net neutrality legislation. This blocks ISPs from throttling or blocking traffic to specific websites or services, and from charging extra for access to certain websites or applications. Given the importance of internet access, ISPs can only disconnect users in a limited set of circumstances, such as for fraud or no payment of accounts.
- In mid-2012 KPN announced a major overhaul of its mobile networks to 2014, involving an upgrade of most of its 3,900 base stations.
This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in the Netherlands. It provides further information on:
- Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
- The impact of the global economic crisis;
- Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
- Mobile data market developments in coming years in light of spectrum auctions and new license awards;
- 3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA and LTE;
- Broadband migration to an FttH architecture;
- Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
- ARPU statistics and forecasts.
BuddeComm’s annual publication, Netherlands – Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecoms and digital media sectors in this leading market. The report includes the regulator’s market data for Q1 2012; telcos’ operating and financial data to September 2012; market developments to October 2012.
For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Netherlands – Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts
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