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Netherlands - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

KPN begins wholesale migration of DSL subscribers to fibre

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.

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.

Broadband market

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
Sector | 2010 | 2013 (e)
Subscribers by sector (million):
Fixed broadband subscribers | 6.43 | 6.79
Mobile broadband | 5.6 | 10.2
Mobile phone | 21.85 | 23.5
Fixed-line telephony | 7.23 | 6.8
Penetration by sector:
Fixed broadband | 39% | 50%
Mobile | 129% | 134%
Fixed-line | 51% | 46%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Market Highlights

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.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.


1. Key Statistics
2. Telecommunications Market
2.1 Overview of the Netherlands’ telecom market
3. Regulatory Environment
3.1 History
3.1.1 EU regulatory framework
3.1.2 Revised NFR
3.2 Regulatory authority
3.2.1 Netherlands Post and Telecommunications Authority (OPTA)
3.3 Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM)
3.4 Telecom sector liberalisation in the Netherlands
3.4.1 Privatisation of KPN Nederland
3.4.2 Interconnect
3.4.3 Access
3.4.4 Number Portability (NP)
3.4.5 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
4. Fixed Network Operators
4.1 Overview of operators
4.1.1 Royal Koninklijke PTT Nederland (KPN)
4.1.2 UPC Nederland
4.1.3 Scarlet Telecom
4.1.4 Tele2 Netherlands
4.1.5 Ziggo
5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
5.1 National telecom network
5.2 International infrastructure
5.3 Regulatory issues
5.4 Wholesaling
5.4.1 Wholesale Line Rental (WLR)
6. Broadband Market
6.1 Fixed broadband market
6.1.1 Overview
6.1.2 Wholesale broadband access
6.1.3 Broadband statistics
6.1.4 Government support
6.1.5 Broadband and smart grids
6.2 Cable modems
6.2.1 Market overview
6.2.2 Ziggo
6.2.3 UPC Nederland
6.3 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
6.3.1 Market overview and statistics
6.3.2 Leased lines
6.3.3 ADSL2+
6.3.4 VDSL
6.3.5 Rival networks
6.4 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
6.4.1 Market overview and statistics
6.4.2 Regional characteristics
6.4.3 Regulating fibre
6.4.4 Helping muni fibre
6.4.5 Fibre and trans-sector policies
6.4.6 Needing a national approach
6.5 Wholesale fibre
6.6 Open Access Model
6.6.1 KPN
6.6.2 Other operators
6.6.3 Government, councils and telcos involved
6.6.4 Ethernet-to-the-Home (EttH)
6.6.5 Cablecos and fibre
6.7 Broadband Powerline (BPL)
6.8 Wireless broadband
6.8.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
6.8.2 Wireless LANS/WiFi
6.8.3 Brief provider overview
6.8.4 WiMAX
6.8.5 Mobile broadband
6.8.6 Internet via satellite
7. Digital Media
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Key general trends
7.1.2 Business models
7.1.3 Regulatory issues
7.2 Digital TV
7.2.1 Overview
7.2.2 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
7.2.3 Free-to-Air (FTA) TV
7.2.4 Interactive TV (iTV)
7.2.5 TV-over-DSL (IPTV)
7.2.6 Video-on-Demand (VoD)
7.2.7 VoIP
7.2.8 Cable TV
7.2.9 Satellite TV
8. Mobile Communications
9. Overview of the Netherlands’ mobile market
9.1 Mobile statistics
9.2 Operator market shares
10. Regulatory issues
10.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
10.1.1 2.6GHz
10.1.2 3.5GHz
10.1.3 Spectrum auction 2012
10.1.4 Cartel investigation – 2012
10.2 Mobile termination rates (MTRs)
10.3 Mobile number portability (MNP)
10.4 Roaming
10.5 Network neutrality
10.6 Network sharing
11. Mobile technologies
11.1 Digital
11.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
12. Major mobile operators
12.1 KPN
12.1.1 Telfort
12.2 Vodafone
12.3 T-Mobile
12.3.1 Orange Netherlands
12.3.2 Network contracts
12.4 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
12.4.1 Tele2
12.4.2 Versatel
12.4.3 Other resellers
13. Mobile voice services
13.1 Prepaid
13.2 Satellite mobile
13.3 Mobile VoIP
14. Mobile Messaging
14.1 SMS
14.1.1 Premium SMS (PSMS)
14.2 Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS)
15. Mobile data services
15.1 General Packet Radio Services (GPRS)
15.2 Push-to-Talk (PTT)
15.3 Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
15.4 High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA)
15.4.1 T-Mobile
15.4.2 KPN Mobile
15.4.3 Yes Telecom
15.4.4 Vodafone
15.5 Evolved HSPA (HSPA+)
15.6 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
15.7 Location-based services (LBS)
15.8 Near Field Communication (NFC)
15.9 Mobile TV
15.10 Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
16. Forecasts
16.1 Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2013; 2020
16.1.1 Scenario 1 – higher broadband subscriber growth
16.1.2 Scenario 2 – lower broadband subscriber growth
16.2 Forecasts Mobile
16.2.1 Forecasts – mobile ARPU – 2005 - 2010; 2015
16.2.2 Forecasts – UMTS subscribers – 2006 - 2015
17. Glossary of Abbreviations
List of Tables, Charts and Exhibits
Table 1 – Country statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 4 – Broadband statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 6 – National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 – Fixed lines in services by type – 2006 - 2012
Table 8 – KPN MDF broadband accesses – 2005 - 2012
Table 9 – Unbundled MDF connections by type – 2008 - 2012
Table 10 – Cumulative mobile numbers ported – 2002 - 2009
Table 11 – CPS subscribers and WLR lines – 2008 - 2012
Table 12 – Fixed-line revenue (PSTN, VoB) – 2006 - 2012
Table 13 – Fixed-line traffic by type – 2008 - 2013
Table 14 – Fixed-line traffic revenue – 2006 - 2013
Table 15 – KPN net line loss – 2005 - 2012
Table 16 – KPN network channels (consumer), PSTN, ISDN, VoIP – consumer – 2005 - 2012
Table 17 – KPN consumer market share by sector – 2007 - 2012
Table 18 – KPN subscribers by sector (consumer) – 2005 - 2012
Table 19 – KPN Group financial data – 2004 - 2012
Table 20 – KPN financial data by sector (Netherlands) – 2005 - 2012
Table 21 – UPC Nederland subscribers – 2005 - 2012
Table 22 – UPC Netherlands revenue and annual change – 2005 - 2012
Table 23 – Tele2 Netherlands residential subscribers by type – 2007 - 2012
Table 24 – Tele2 Netherlands revenue by type – 2007 - 2012
Table 25 – Ziggo financial data – 2006 - 2012
Table 26 – Ziggo subscriber data – 2007 - 2012
Table 27 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1999 - 2013
Table 28 – Unbundled MDF connections by type – 2008 - 2011
Table 29 – Broadband market share by major ISP – 2009 - 2011
Table 30 – Broadband household and IP-VPN penetration – 2002 - 2012
Table 31 – Broadband retail subscribers (cable modem, xDSL, fibre) – 1999 - 2012
Table 32 – Broadband market share by technology – 2008 - 2012
Table 33 – Broadband connections by speed, cable and DSL (thousand lines) – 2010 - 2012
Table 34 – Proportion of broadband retail connections by speed – 2010 - 2012
Table 35 – Broadband penetration rate – 1999 - 2012
Table 36 – Broadband penetration by technology – 2007 - 2012
Table 37 – Netherlands internet bandwidth – 1999 - 2012
Table 38 – Cable modem subscribers – 2000 - 2013
Table 39 – Ziggo financial data – 2006 - 2012
Table 40 – Ziggo financial data – 2006 – 2012
Table 41 – Ziggo subscriber data – 2007 - 2012
Table 42 – UPC Nederland subscribers – 2005 - 2012
Table 43 – UPC Netherlands revenue and annual change– 2005 - 2012
Table 44 – KPN consumer retail broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Table 45 – DSL market share of broadband subscribers – 2004 - 2012
Table 46 – ADSL subscribers – 2000 - 2013
Table 47 – Tele2 DSL subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Table 48 – KPN MDF broadband accesses – 2005 - 2012
Table 49 – FttH connections and subscribers – 2006 - 2012; 2015
Table 50 – Active business FttH connections – 2008 - 2013
Table 51 – Regulated LLU tariffs, by access network
Table 52 – KPN/Reggefiber FttX connections and homes passed – 2009 - 2012
Table 53 – Mobile broadband subscribers via laptops – 2009 - 2012
Table 54 – Bundled services subscribers – 2008 - 2011
Table 55 – KPN subscribers with bundled services – 2008 - 2012
Table 56 – Digital TV subscription market share by operator – 2010 – 2011
Table 57 – Digital TV distribution infrastructure market share – 2003 – 2011
Table 58 – TV retail revenue by platform – 2006 – 2012
Table 59 – Digital TV subscribers by platform – 2010 – 2012
Table 60 – Digitenne subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Table 61 – IPTV households – 2010 - 2012
Table 62 – KPN IPTV subscribers – 2008 - 2012
Table 63 – VoIP subscribers – 2005 - 2012
Table 64 – KPN VoIP subscribers – 2005 - 2012
Table 65 – Cable TV subscribers by type – 2008 - 2012
Table 66 – Cable TV households and penetration – 2008 - 2011
Table 67 – UPC Nederland cable TV subscribers – 2005 - 2012
Table 68 – UPC Netherlands revenue and annual change (US$) – 2005 - 2012
Table 69 – Ziggo cable TV subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Table 70 – Satellite TV households and household penetration – 2002 – 2011; 2015
Table 71 – Mobile services market revenue – 2006 - 2013
Table 72 – Mobile services t revenue by sector– 2009 - 2011
Table 73 – Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change – Jun 2012
Table 74 – Total mobile (SIM) subscribers and penetration rate (regulator data) – 1999 - 2013
Table 75 – Total mobile traffic – 2007 - 2013
Table 76 – Mobile revenue by service – 2008 - 2012
Table 77 – Market share of subscribers by operator – 2006 - 2011
Table 78 – 3G licence awards (spectrum, spectrum fees and admin fees) – July 2000
Table 79 – MTRs – 2006 - 2008
Table 80 – MTRs – 2009 - 2012
Table 81 – Wholesale termination revenue – 2007 - 2012
Table 82 – Cumulative mobile numbers ported – 2003 - 2009
Table 83 – European roaming charges – 2007 - 2012
Table 84 – KPN mobile subscribers – 1998 - 2012
Table 85 – KPN mobile consumer retail and wholesale subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Table 86 – KPN international mobile service revenue by operator – 2006 - 2012
Table 87 – KPN mobile monthly ARPU – 2006 - 2012
Table 88 – Vodafone Netherlands financial data – 2007 - 2012
Table 89 – Vodafone Netherlands subscribers – 2004 - 2012
Table 90 – Vodafone Netherlands ARPU – 2004 - 2012
Table 91 – Vodafone Netherlands voice minutes – 2004 - 2012
Table 92 – T-Mobile Netherlands subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Table 93 – T-Mobile Netherlands financial data – 2006 - 2012
Table 94 – T-Mobile Netherlands mobile service revenue – 2007 - 2012
Table 95 – T-Mobile Netherlands ARPU – 2006 - 2012
Table 96 – MVNO subscribers – 2005 - 2013
Table 97 – Tele2 mobile subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Table 98 – Prepaid and contract subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Table 99 – Prepaid and contract subscribers by market share – 2008 - 2012
Table 100 – KPN Mobile non-voice proportion of ARPU – 2004 - 2011
Table 101 – SMS and data revenue – 2008 - 2012
Table 102 – SMS traffic – 2008 - 2013
Table 103 – Data traffic – 2008 - 2013
Table 104 – M2M connections – 2010 - 2013
Table 105 – Forecast broadband subscribers – higher market growth scenario – 2010 - 2013; 2020
Table 106 – Forecast broadband subscribers – lower market growth scenario – 2010 - 2013; 2020
Table 107 – Forecast mobile ARPU – 2005 - 2010; 2015
Table 108 – Forecast UMTS subscribers – 2006 - 2015
Chart 1 – Fixed lines in services by type – 2006 – 2012
Chart 2 – Unbundled MDF connections by type – 2008 – 2012
Chart 3 – Fixed-line revenue (PSTN, VoB) – 2006 – 2012
Chart 4 – Fixed-line traffic by type – 2008 – 2013
Chart 5 – KPN network channels (consumer), PSTN, ISDN, VoIP – consumer – 2005 – 2012
Chart 6 – KPN subscribers by sector (consumer) – 2005 – 2012
Chart 7 – KPN Group financial data – 2004 – 2012
Chart 8 – KPN financial data by sector (Netherlands) – 2005 – 2012
Chart 9 – UPC Nederland subscribers – 2005 – 2012
Chart 10 – Tele2 Netherlands residential subscribers by type – 2007 – 2012
Chart 11 – Tele2 Netherlands revenue by type – 2007 – 2012
Chart 12 – Ziggo financial data – 2006 – 2012
Chart 13 – Ziggo operating and subscriber data – 2007 – 2012
Chart 14 – Unbundled MDF connections by type – 2008 – 2011
Chart 15 – Broadband subscribers (cable modem, xDSL, fibre) – 2002 – 2012
Chart 16 – Broadband market share by technology – 2009 – 2012
Chart 17 – Ziggo operating and subscriber data – 2007 – 2012
Chart 18 – UPC Nederland subscribers – 2005 – 2012
Chart 19 – Digital TV distribution infrastructure market share – 2003 – 2011
Chart 20 – Cable TV subscribers by type – 2008 – 2012
Chart 21 – UPC Nederland cable TV subscribers – 2005 – 2012
Chart 22 – Ziggo cable TV subscribers – 2007 – 2012
Chart 23 – Mobile services t revenue by sector– 2009 – 2011
Chart 24 – Total mobile (SIM) subscribers and penetration rate (regulator data) – 1999 – 2013
Chart 25 – Market share of subscribers by operator – 2006 – 2011
Chart 26 – KPN Mobile consumer retail subscribers – 2006 – 2012
Chart 27 – KPN international mobile service revenue by operator – 2006 – 2012
Chart 28 – Vodafone Netherlands financial data – 2007 – 2012
Chart 29 – T-Mobile Netherlands financial data – 2006 – 2012
Chart 30 – MVNO subscribers – 2005 – 2013
Chart 31 – Prepaid and contract subscribers – 2007 – 2012
Chart 32 – SMS and data revenue – 2008 – 2012
Exhibit 1 – EU – The New Regulatory Framework (NRF)
Exhibit 2 – Fixed-to-mobile interconnections tariffs – 2007 - 2009
Exhibit 3 – Access and the local loop
Exhibit 4 – Plan of action and targets – 2003 - 2015
Exhibit 5 – Overview of digital media
Exhibit 6 – 2.6GHz spectrum auction – April 2010
Exhibit 7 – 2.6GHz spectrum auction – Oct 2012
Exhibit 8 – Premium SMS market feature overview by operator – 2010

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