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For the first time ever, mobile-data consumption in a single quarter tops 100 billion MB

In late-2017, mobile-data consumption in the Netherlands rose to over 100 billion MB in a single quarter. In addition, the number of packages that combine fixed and mobile telephony passed the two million mark in 2017. This has been revealed by the Telecom Monitor for 2017, which the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets published today.

Mobile operators readily respond to consumer demand for data

In order to attract and retain customers, telecom operators constantly adjust their offerings. Since the spring of 2017, Tele2 and T-Mobile have offered unlimited-data plans, which has resulted in mobile-data consumption growing substantially. Henk Don, Acting Chairman of the Board of ACM, adds: “It appears that consumers increasingly want bigger data plans. And it is a positive development that mobile operators respond to this increase in demand.”  In the fourth quarter of 2017, for the first time ever, over 100 billion MB was used in a single quarter. This is approximately twice the total consumption in 2014, and approximately the same as total consumption in 2015. In 2017 as a whole, over 325 billion MB was used.  

Despite the fact that Tele2 only has 5-10% of all mobile connections in the Netherlands, its market share based on data consumption in 2017 rose from 5-10% to 15-20%. T-Mobile’s market share based on data consumption remained the same. Both KPN and VodafoneZiggo saw their market shares based on data consumption drop by 0-5%.

Fixed-mobile packages are popular, while investments in fixed networks decrease

The number of fixed-mobile packages has risen tremendously over the past few years from almost 500,000 connections in late-2014 to over two million in late-2017. These are plans that combine fixed broadband services such as broadband access, television services, and/or fixed telephony with mobile services in a single package. The larger operators in particular that own their own fixed and mobile networks, such as KPN and VodafoneZiggo, offer these packages.

In 2017, operators invested less in fixed networks. In 2014, such investments totaled almost EUR 1.7 billion, but in 2017, they totaled approximately EUR 1 billion. This drop is reflected in the delayed roll-out of the fiber-optic network in 2017. Last year, 66,000 new households were connected to the fiber-optic network, whereas over the previous three years, that figure was on average 230,000 per year.

ACM continues to ensure there is sufficient competition

ACM contributes towards the realization of a competitive telecom sector where consumers and businesses have sufficient choice, and where they are able to make choices in a well-informed manner. In order to safeguard these principles in the long term, ACM proposed that, from now on, alternative providers should also be granted access to VodafoneZiggo’s cable network. As a result, they would be able to offer broadband, television and fixed telephony services over the cable network as well. Alternative providers currently only have access to KPN’s copper and fiber-optic networks, which are regulated by ACM.

About the Telecom Monitor

Every quarter, ACM publishes the market figures for the telecommunication sector in its Telecom Monitor. Based on data from the most important operators in the telecom industry, the Telecom Monitor gives an overview of the trends in mobile services, fixed telephony, broadband, television, business network services, and packages.