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Netherlands - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 23 Mar 2021 Update History

Report Pages: 231

Netherlands expecting second 5G auction in mid-2022

The Dutch telecom market is gradually migrating to upgraded platforms as modernisation schemes undertaken by telcos make steady progress. KPN is steadily replacing its copper access network with fibre, while the MNOs are also closing down their GSM and 3G networks and repurposing their spectrum and physical assets for LTE and 5G. T-Mobile Netherlands has delayed switching off GSM until June 2023 given that the network is still used for M2M connections and other applications.

The country has one of the highest fixed broadband penetration rates in the world, with effective cross-platform competition between DSL, HFC, and fibre networks. In the third quarter of 2020 the number of cable broadband connections fell for the first time, while the DSL segment has long been eclipsed by fibre. By September 2020 about 47.8% of fixed broadband connections provided data above 100Mb/s. Under regulatory measures, the telcos KPN and VodafoneZiggo are obliged to offer wholesale access to competitors: VodafoneZiggo’s wholesale offer was published in March 2019.

This report details the key aspects of the Dutch telecom market, providing data on fixed network services, profiles of the major operators, and a review of the key regulatory issues including interconnection, local loop unbundling, number portability, carrier preselection, and the provisions for competitor access to cable and fibre infrastructure. In addition, the report covers the fixed and wireless broadband markets, including statistics and analyses on technology deployments. The report also assesses the mobile voice and data segments, detailing the strategies of the MNOs, the deployment of emerging technologies, and a range of regulatory issues. A range of subscriber forecasts are also provided.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

  • Deutsche Telekom and Cellnex Telecom agree to combine their tower businesses in the Netherlands;
  • Delayed 3.5GHz auction expected to be held in the first quarter of 2022;
  • Regulator amends rules to encourage mobile network and spectrum sharing;
  • KPN stops offering ISDN2/PSTN services;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to Q3 2020, telcos' operating and financial data to Q4 2020, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

KPN, UPC Netherlands, Tele2 Netherlands, Stipte (Scarlet Telecom), Ziggo, VodafoneZiggo, Orange Netherlands, Versatel, T-Mobile Netherlands, Reggefiber

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