Netherlands - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses
Growth in the number of mobile subscribers in the Dutch market has faltered in recent years, though there remains growth in the M2M and mobile broadband sectors. The decline in the number of traditional SIM cards is partly the result of higher mobile penetration and also of competition on pricing which has meant that subscribers have less cause to acquire SIM cards from different providers to capitalise on cheaper on-net tariffs. In common with other European markets, the LTE sector is the main driver in the sector, supported by the combination of high smartphone penetration and competitive pricing for mobile data bundles. While operators are concentrating investment on 5G some, including KPN, have begun the process of closing 3G infrastructure with a view to refarming spectrum and other assets for LTE and 5G services. In some rural areas with poor fixed-line broadband coverage MNOS offer LTE services as a fixed broadband replacement and this trend will gain pace once 5G becomes widely available from about 2022.
Market revenue has been affected in recent quarters as a result of competition and regulatory measures on termination rates and roaming tariffs, as well as by consumer adoption of alternative messaging services, which has reduced the volume of SMS traffic.
The mobile market is fairly concentrated though the triopoly of T-Mobile Netherlands, KPN and VodafoneZiggo is supplemented by a good number of MVNOs and resellers. In recent years MNOs have focussed on LTE infrastructure and technology upgrades as a basis for developing mobile data services, with at least 95% of subscribers having LTE-compatible smartphones. More recently there has been investment in 5G: a 5G research platform was set up in late 2016 as a test bed for future applications and services, while a number of trials have included traffic control and smart applications. Additional pressure on MNOs is coming from new regulations which ended the restriction by which SIM cards were owned only by MNOs, essentially paving the way for private network operators to develop M2M and other services.
This report provides statistics and analyses on the Dutch mobile market, including a review of the key operators and regulatory issues, an assessment of emerging mobile data services and details of technologies based on LTE-B, LTB-M and 5G.
MNOs call for auction of 3.5GHz spectrum;
T-Mobile Netherlands merger with Tele2 remains under scrutiny;
KPN preps for 5G trials, plans 3G network shutdown in 2022;
Tele2 Netherlands launches VoWi-Fi service;
T-Mobile launches '4G For Home' solution;
VodafoneZiggo completes LTE-M network roll out;
KPN extends LTE-M services;
MNOs refarm 3G spectrum in the 2100MHz and 2600MHz bands for LTE;
T-Mobile Netherlands launches CA LTE-A services;
MNOs join with banks to launch m-payments system;
T-Mobile and Tele2 sign network sharing agreement;
Report update includes the regulator's market data for Q4 2017, telcos' operating and financial data to Q2 2018, recent market developments.
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Hendrik Rood, Senior consultant, Stratix Consulting