Dutch Broadband Market Growth Slows

A new report released by Telecompaper reveals sluggish growth of just 0.2 percent in broadband connections in the first quarter of 2017

The Dutch market for fixed broadband internet was affected by a slowdown in the first quarter, according to Telecompaper’s Dutch Broadband 2017 Q1 report. The number of connections grew 0.2 percent to 7.34 million, with both cable and fibre witnessing a sharp decline, compared to the fourth quarter of 2016. For 2017, Telecompaper expects growth of more than 2 percent year-on-year.

As in Q4, growth in the broadband market was driven by cable and fibre. However, figures in Q1 were a lot less impressive than in the previous quarter. The number of fibre connections increased by 0.6 percent, versus 2.6 percent growth in Q4. For cable, the number of connections was up 0.3 percent in Q1, compared with 1.4 percent in the earlier quarter. The number of DSL broadband connections continued to decline.

Telecompaper expects growth in the number of broadband internet connections to increase in the coming quarters. In the full year 2017, the market will lift more than 2 percent, slowing from the 2.6 percent advance charted in 2016. The slowdown is mainly attributed to the increasing market saturation for fixed broadband, with household penetration reaching 94 percent.

Cable remains by far the market leader

Per broadband technology, cable is still the market leader with 3.38 million connections. DSL remains in second position, despite a decline to 2.86 million connections. Meanwhile, fibre broadband advanced to 1.1 million connections at the end of Q1.

Ziggo largest provider

Ziggo is still the largest broadband provider in the Netherlands. The cable provider grew 0.4 percent in Q1 to almost 3.19 million broadband subscribers. This translated into a market share of 43.4 percent. The second provider on the market, KPN (including Telfort, XS4ALL and Edutel) grew by 0.4 percent to a 40.4 percent market share.

In addition to Ziggo and KPN, the market has a number of smaller players, including T-Mobile Netherlands, which acquired Vodafone Thuis customers and started offering its T-Mobile Thuis product in February. The provider attracted 12,000 customers in Q1 to reach 176,000. The list of smaller players also includes NLE, which started supplying multi-play packages and recorded 30,000 customers at the end of 2016.

The smaller providers are doing well, bolstered by the advent of NLE and T-Mobile NL, the report said. The group is in the future expected to take a larger market share from the top two players.

Revenue to go 0.3% higher

Revenue from broadband connections amounted to EUR 474 million in Q1, 0.3 percent more than in Q4. Revenue growth therefore came out slightly higher than volume growth. Due to announced price increases at KPN and its brands, at Ziggo from 1 July, and at Delta and Tele2 Netherlands from 1 May, broadband revenues are seen up 1.5 percent in 2017.

For 2017-2021, Telecompaper is forecasting for an average growth rate of 1.7 percent per year in terms of broadband connections and 1.2  for revenue growth.

Source: Telecompaper


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