Breadcrumb

2013 Telecom Monitor Q1: Broadband subscription speeds continue to increase

  • Broadband speeds continue to increase: 37 percent of all subscriptions have download speeds of 30 Mbps or higher
  • Text messaging volume has decreased by a third (-36 percent)
  • Usage of mobile internet continues to increase substantially (+58 percent)

These are some of the main trends that can be seen in the telecom market figures of the first quarter of 2013, which the Netherlands Authority for Consumer and Markets (ACM) published today. ACM compared the figures of the first quarter of 2013 with those of the same period in 2012. The Telecom Monitor shows the trends in mobile services, fixed telephony, broadband, television, and business network services, and is based on data coming from the main market participants in the telecom industry.

Mobile services

In the mobile market, mobile internet is the driver behind the increase in data traffic and in the number of subscriptions, while the number of voice minutes and of text messages are decreasing. With 268,000 new connections in this quarter, the strongest growth in this market came from mobile subscriptions with internet access. The number of subscriptions with mobile broadband access has increased to 10.5 million. Data traffic in the first quarter of 2013 was 7.2 petabyte (7.2 million gigabyte), which is considerably more data (+58%) than the 4.6 PB in the same period in the previous year. Compared with the first quarter of 2012, the number of voice minutes has slightly decreased (-1%) to less than 5.7 billion minutes. Text messaging volume in the same period dropped 36 percent from 2.3 billion to 1.4 billion.

Fixed telephony

At the end of the first quarter of 2013, two in three fixed-telephony connections were digital (VoB). At the beginning of 2012, it was 60 percent. More and more consumers switch providers. In the first quarter of 2013, approximately four percent of consumers did so. In 2012, it was approximately 3.3 percent. Compared with the same period in 2012, the number of voice minutes dropped 6 percent in the first quarter of 2013 to 5.3 billion minutes. However, the number of voice minutes to mobile telephones increased (7%), as did other traffic (+6%).

Broadband

At the end of March 2013, the total number of broadband subscriptions over landlines was 6.7 million. The growth in absolute terms (11,000 new subscriptions) was more modest than in previous quarters. The number of DSL connections dropped (-58,000), while the number of cable connections increased (+32,000). With an additional 36,000, a total of 434,000 households and businesses now have broadband access over fiber optic. In the first quarter of 2013, the average download speed of subscriptions increased. In the previous year, 27 percent of all subscriptions had an advertised download speed of 30 Mbps or higher, whereas at the end of the first quarter of 2013, that percentage increased to 37 percent. In the first quarter, only one percent of all subscriptions had an advertised download speed of less than 2 Mbps, while four percent had an advertised download speed of more than 100 Mbps.

Television

83 percent of all households (a total of 7.5 million television subscriptions) have digital television. Out of a total 4.9 million cable subscribers, approximately 1.2 million household have analog television only. With an increase of 16,000 in the first quarter of 2013, the number of digital subscriptions over cable grew less rapidly than in previous quarters. The total number of subscriptions over cable decreased with 83,000. The number of subscriptions over other infrastructures increased with 78,000, particularly because more and more consumers choose IPTV.

Business network services

For their secure, internal data and telephone communication between different locations, companies use business network services, such as leased lines, virtual private networks (VPNs) and dark fiber (which is fiber optic on which customers provide their own services). Compared with the first quarter of 2012, the total number of connections for business network services slightly decreased with 4,000 to 151,000 connections. The share of data communication in this market rose from 76 percent to 79 percent, and the share of dark fiber grew steadily from five percent to six percent. This development took place at the expense of the share of traditional leased lines, which decreased from 19 percent to 15 percent in the previous year.