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4G turns smartphones and tablets into mobile televisions

In the second quarter of 2015, total data consumption on smartphones and tablets increased to more than 27.5 billion MB. This is one of the key findings of the Telecom Monitor that the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) published today. Henk Don, Member of the Board of ACM, explains: “The main driver behind this increase in data consumption is that high-speed internet over 4G connections has made it possible to watch movies and television series on smartphones and tablets. Judging from our own figures and what our sources at market participants are saying, we expect these strong growth rates to continue to go up.”

Total data consumption on smartphones and tablets continues to increase

Compared with the first quarter of 2015, total data consumption increased almost by a third in the second quarter: from 21 billion MB to over 27.5 billion MB. To put this figure somewhat into perspective, this equals downloading dozens of millions of movies. Mr. Don adds: “More than half of the total data volume is downloaded over 4G-connections. With 4G, smartphone and tablet users are able to realize download speeds of up to 225 Mbit per second. With speeds such as these, it is possible to watch live television or download movies anywhere and without any problems.” By the end of the first quarter of 2016, all providers in the Netherlands will have rolled out their 4G networks. As a result, 4G coverage in the Netherlands on all networks will then be 99%.

Fiber-optic increasingly becoming the broadband connection of choice

The number of cable customers has decreased, whereas the number of customers that opt for fiber optic is steadily increasing. Mr. Don explains: “These two trends have been observed for quite some time now: approximately 3.2 million households use cable connections for their broadband internet, compared with 3.6 million households that use KPN’s copper and fiber-optic networks. ACM’s regulation of the market ensures that other providers such as Vodafone and Tele2 continue to have access to KPN’s network.”

Consumers also pay for ‘free apps’

As smartphones are used more and more nowadays, so are the apps that are installed on them. Last week, ACM launched an awareness campaign called ‘Each app has its price’ (in Dutch: ‘Elke app heeft een prijs’) to raise awareness among users about the ‘price’ of free apps. Consumers often do not realize that, when downloading free apps, they ‘pay’ with granting these apps access to their photos or contact lists.

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 players in the telecom industry, the Telecom Monitor gives an overview of the trends in mobile services, fixed telephony, broadband, television, business network services, and bundles.