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Mobile data consumption continues to increase tremendously in 2016

31-03-2017

Today, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) released the Telecom Monitor for the third quarter of 2016. The figures found in the monitor reveal three trends:

  • Mobile data consumption continues to increase;
  • Dutch consumers are making more and more calls, and increasingly so with their mobile phones;
  • For the first time ever, over one million households have fiber-optic connections

Mobile data consumption continues to increase

Streaming movies and music, online banking, keeping track of your messages on social media, shopping online: these are all activities that we do more and more often on our mobile phones. Mobile data consumption in the Netherlands thus continues to increase. Total data consumption over the first three quarters of 2016 was 129 billion MB, which is higher than the total amount in 2015 (114 billion MB). In the third quarter of 2016, total data consumption was over 50.6 billion MB, which is 16% higher than in the second quarter.

The number of mobile plans with voice, text and data also keeps on rising. In the third quarter of 2016, the number of mobile plans increased to over 13.6 million connections. That is 8.6% more than the previous year. Almost two-thirds (62%) of all mobile connections are these so-called 3-in-1 plans that combine data, voice, and text. Consumers who just wish to text and make calls primarily use prepaid phones.

Dutch consumers are making more and more calls, and increasingly so with their mobile phones

In the third quarter of 2016, the total number of call minutes increased from 10.4 billion to 10.7 billion compared with the same period in the previous year. This increase can be entirely attributed to mobile phones (+10.5% more mobile call minutes). In the third quarter of 2016, the number of fixed call minutes dropped -13% compared with the previous quarter. One possible explanation for this trend is that providers increasingly add unlimited voice to their mobile plans. As a result, customers are able to make unlimited phone calls on their mobile phones at no additional cost.

Over one million households have fiber-optic connections

In the third quarter of 2016, for the first time ever, over one million households use a fiber-optic connection for their telecom services such as broadband, telephony, and television. Thanks to such fiber-optic connections, consumers are able to take out plans that include download speeds of up to 1,000 Mbit/s. Download speeds over fiber-optic connections are thus much higher than those over copper connections or cable connections. However, not all providers offer this top speed. Households that are able to choose superfast broadband over fiber-optic do not necessarily always pick the fastest and most expensive plan. A large group is satisfied with a cheaper fiber-optic plan with download speeds between 30-100 Mbit/s.

Business customers, on the other hand, do increasingly opt for superfast fiber-optic connections of up to 100 Gbit/s. In that way, they are able to take advantage of superior telecom services such as cloud services or connecting multiple locations. The number of fiber-optic connections with business customers increased this quarter from 75,000 to 78,000. That increase is primarily caused by the number of fiber-optic connections that telecom providers Vodafone and Tele2 purchase from fiber-optic providers KPN and Eurofiber.