Fibre accounting for 13% of broadband lines in the Netherlands

The Dutch telecom market has one of the most advanced broadband sectors in the world, with effective cross-platform competition between DSL and HFC networks further stimulated by numerous fibre deployments. There is also strong competition in the mobile sector, a factor which has obliged Deutsche Telekom to consider selling its T-Mobile Netherlands unit. A progressive digital TV platform is facing increasing pressure from a range of videostreaming services recently launched by OTT players, including Netflix. Telcos have responded with their own services in a bid to arrest customer cord cutting in preference for on-line video services.

The cable sector is dominated by UPC Netherlands and Ziggo, both owned by Liberty Global and which since March 2015 have been merged within Ziggo Group. The two companies nevertheless operate separate networks and provide separate services to customers within their respective footprints. These two players control more than 90% of the cable TV and cable broadband market.

The number of mobile subscribers has grown slowly in recent years, and much of this growth is due to the rapid development of the M2M sector. In common with other advanced European markets, the LTE sector is the main driver, supported by the combination of high smartphone penetration and competitive pricing for mobile data bundles.

Following the acquisition of Orange by T-Mobile in late 2007 there are only three network operators in the market. All provide wholesale services to MVNOs and resellers, and have focussed on HSPA and LTE infrastructure as a basis for developing mobile data services. Deutsche Telekom in late 2015 began exploring the possibility of selling its Dutch unit, noting that the highly competitive market is moving to a platform of converged services in which it is at a disadvantage. Within the mobile sector alone T-Mobile Netherlands is facing increased pressure from smaller operators such as Ziggo, which are also providing LTE services.

Broadband penetration in the Netherlands is one of the highest in the world, the result of large-scale government and municipal investment in broadband infrastructure. KPN has extended its vectoring VDSL service while the merged UPC Netherlands and Ziggo have upgraded their networks with DOCSIS3.0, and are looking to deploy DOCSIS3.1 in coming years. This upgrade will be capable of delivering 1Gb/s services and higher. The market share held by DSL, once the dominant platform, has fallen consistently for several years as customers migrate to faster cable and fibre-based networks. By early 2016 fibre accounted for almost 13% of all fixed-line broadband connections.

This report assesses the key aspects of the Dutch telecom market. It provides updated data on fixed network services, profiles the major operators, and reviews regulatory issues including interconnection, local loop unbundling, number portability, carrier preselection, and the provisions for competitor access to cable and fibre infrastructure. The report also provides statistics and analyses on the mobile market, including analyses of the key operators and regulatory issues, and an assessment of emerging mobile data services such as mobile TV, LTE-B and developments in carrier aggregation technologies. In addition, the report covers the fixed and wireless broadband markets, including a range of technologies such as vectoring VDSL, FttP, powerline broadband, wireless broadband, Wi-Fi and internet via satellite. It also provides details of regulatory measures affecting network access, as well as recent developments in the digital media and videostreaming sectors.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Netherlands – Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media – Statistics and Analyses

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