Netherlands Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Publication Date: May 2024

Report Pages: 274

Netherlands delays 3.5GHz 5G auction to at least late 2023

Telecom infrastructure in the Netherlands continues to be upgraded as modernisation schemes undertaken by telcos make steady progress. KPN is replacing its copper access network with fibre, either through its own investment program or in conjunction with the wholesale fibre access provider Glaspoort, in which it has a half-share alongside the pension company APG. KPN expected that about 80% of all premises in the country would be covered by its FttP service by 2026. Other fibre providers have been supported by regulatory measures which have encouraged municipal governments to intervene with telcos’ fibre builds, facilitating open access networks in a bid to make rollouts cheaper, and completed sooner.

While the MNOs are also closing down their GSM and 3G networks and repurposing their spectrum and physical assets for LTE and 5G, the regulator has also encouraged GSM/3G roaming in the interim, thus safeguarding services such as M2M and other low data-use applications while individual MNOs disable their own GSM/3G networks. 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 the end of 2021, over a quarter of fixed broadband connections were on fibre infrastructure, while DSL accounted for only about 29%. Almost 49% of fixed connections provided data above 100Mb/s, while an additional 43.7% provided data of at least 30Mb/s. Under regulatory measures, the telcos KPN and Vodafone Ziggo are obliged to offer wholesale access to competitors.

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.

Key developments:

  • Advisory body recommends that 300MHz of spectrum in the 3.6GHz band be auctioned in December 2023;
  • KPN closes its 3G network, with most subscribers switched to LTE or 5G;
  • Deutsche Telekom and Tele2 sell their stakes T-Mobile Netherlands to an investment consortium for about €5.1 billion;
  • Regulator reports on proposed reductions in wholesale fees for access to KPN and Glaspoort fibre networks;
  • T-Mobile Netherlands names Ericsson as its sole RAN vendor for its 5G network;
  • Deutsche Telekom and Cellnex Telecom agree to combine their tower businesses in the Netherlands;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to December 2021, telcos' operating and financial data to Q1 2022, updated Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, 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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