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ACM Telecom Monitor for Q4 2022: landline calls and texting significantly decreased

Over the past four years, the number of text messages sent from mobile phones in the Netherlands has dropped from 3.3 billion in 2019 to 2.3 billion in 2022. The number of voice minutes over fixed telephony has decreased to 6.3 billion in 2022. These figures clearly underscore the multi-year trend of a shift from fixed telephony to mobile telephony, and from counting voice minutes to data consumption. In the meantime, the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) has led to a strong demand for telephone numbers for devices with connectivity options. Almost half of the available numbers for such devices has already been issued. These are some of the insights found in the interactive dashboard of the Telecom Monitor of the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). From now on, the Telecom Monitor also includes data on the issuance of numbers.

More and more devices are introduced that are able to exchange data remotely, such as smart smoke detectors or alarm systems. The rise of such devices has also fueled demand for phone numbers for these applications. In 2022, ACM issued 37 percent more numbers, which makes it the fastest-growing category of all numbers issued. Of the 100 million available numbers in this category, almost half has already been issued (47.5 million).
In the category of 06 numbers (in the Netherlands, mobile phones are assigned numbers starting with 06), 89 percent has been issued. This is a slight increase (1 percent) compared with last year. As demand keeps on rising, ACM advises the Dutch legislature to make numbers in the 06760 series available for mobile telephony. These numbers are reserved for broadband access for specific services, but are no longer in use.

Network investments

Last year, investments in fixed networks were higher than those in mobile networks. Approximately 550 million euros was invested in mobile networks, and 2.5 billion euros in fixed networks, such as the roll-out of fiber-optic. The number of fiber-optic connections has risen by 1.2 million to 5.7 million. Right now, there are just as many households with copper connections as there are households with fiber-optic connections. Last year, the number of copper connections fell by 200,000. Nevertheless, there still are more cable connections: almost 8 million.

Fewer directory assistance services

The number of phone numbers issued for information and subscriber information services (such as 0800-numbers and 0906-numbers) has gradually gone down for years now. Over the last couple of years, ACM has focused on preventing and dealing with misleading practices by directory assistance services. That is why, at the advice of ACM, the rules were changed in 2022. ACM has become stricter both when issuing information numbers as well as when taking enforcement action in case of violations.

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