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Massive increase in mobile data consumption

08-08-2017

Dutch consumers keep on using their mobile phones more and more for calling and surfing the Internet. Mobile data consumption continues to increase. In 2016, total data consumption was 185 billion MB, which is an increase of 63% compared with 2015, and an increase of over 500% compared with 2013. The number of text messages continues to decline.

This has been revealed by the 2016 Telecom Monitor, which the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) published today.

Other notable trends with regard to internet, telephony, and television over the past four years are:

  • Consumers take out more and larger packages;
  • Consumers increasingly go online using very fast broadband connections;
  • Marked increase in the number of connections for internet of things;
  • Mobile operators without a network of their own in particular are growing tremendously;
  • Market shares in the consumer market for internet are stable.

Consumers take out more and larger packages

More and larger packages have become staples in the telecom sector. Consumers increasingly take out a combination of services such as broadband access, television services, fixed telephony, and mobile telephony in a single package. At the end of 2016, the number of households that took out a package has risen to almost 6.5 million. In 2016, the number of households that took out a four-in-one package rose by 190,000 connections (31%) to almost 800,000. The number of three-in-one packages in 2016 rose by 245,000 connections (6%). The number of two-in-one packages decreased by 187,000 connections (-12%).

Consumers increasingly go online using very fast broadband connections

Fast internet connections have become more and more common for consumers. In 2016, one in three consumer connections had superfast speeds of over 100 Mbps. In late-2013, that percentage was just 9%. The percentage of slow connections (lower than 10 Mbps) dropped in 2016 to 2% of all connections. In 2013, that percentage was still 31%.

Marked increase in number of connections for internet of things

In the mobile market, the number of connections used for devices that communicate over the Internet is increasing tremendously. This concerns SIM cards with 097 numbers for objects such as trash cans, alarm systems, and smoke detectors. The number of SIM cards for devices that communicate over the Internet rose from over 1.2 million in late-2013 to almost 4 million in late-2016.

Mobile operators without a network of their own in particular are growing tremendously

In 2016, the number of mobile bundles (plans with data and voice) increased significantly, from 12.64 million in 2015 to 13.83 million in 2016 (+ 9%). In the postpaid and prepaid segments, the mobile operators without a network of their own in particular experienced growth in 2016. The number of postpaid and prepaid connections among these market participants increased by 19% in 2016. They purchase access from one of the four major market participants that have a network of their own. Among these mobile operators that have a network of their own, the average growth rate was markedly lower: 2.5%.

Market shares in the consumer market for internet are stable

Since cable companies UPC and Ziggo merged in 2014, the market shares in the consumer market for internet have remained stable. Over the past three years, both KPN and Ziggo had stable and similar market shares of approximately 40-45%. Next to these two competitors, Tele2 was able to maintain a small yet stable market share of 0-5% over the same period. The other market participants had a combined market share of approximately 5-10%. KPN must give other market participants access to its fixed network. This fixed network is regulated. The market share of the market participants that take advantage thereof is approximately 5-10%.