Over half Dutch consumers have 4G smartphones

Wednesday 14 October 2015 | 12:17 CET | Background

The share of Dutch consumers with 4G devices has nearly doubled in the past year, from 27 percent in August 2014 to 51 percent in September this year. Over the same period, the use of 4G networks nearly tripled, from 12 percent to 33 percent. Among those not yet using 4G, 8 percent expect to switch to LTE in the next six months, according to the latest results from the Telecompaper Consumer Panel. 

The survey shows that growth in 4G adoption has slowed somewhat. In the six months to September, the number of consumers with 4G smartphones rose just 25 percent, compared to 50 percent growth in the preceding six months to February 2015 and 50 percent in the prior six-month period.

The three largest mobile operators still report steady growth in 4G subscribers. Together they have around 5.6 million customers on 4G. KPN was at around 3 million at the end of June, Vodafone reported 1.4 million in August and T-Mobile had 1.21 million. Tele2 has yet to disclose how many customers are on its LTE network. 

In the past two years, 4G smartphone penetration has more than tripled, from 14 percent to 51 percent. In September 2013, 62 percent of the Dutch said they did not have a 4G-compatible phone, and by September this year, this had fallen to a third. Still, 17 percent said they don't know it their phone supports LTE. In April 2015, Telecompaper's sister company GSMHelpdesk found that around 60 percent of all new phones on the market were LTE enabled. 


Strong increase in 4G use

Use of 4G networks has grown just as strongly in the past two years, supported by increased network coverage. KPN completed its national 4G network roll-out in April 2014 and Vodafone in the autumn of last year. T-Mobile aims to have national coverage by the end of this year, while Tele2 is targeting roll-out completion in March 2016. 

In September 2013, only 2 percent of consumers said they used 4G networks, while 14 percent already had 4G devices. Two years later, 51 percent of consumers had 4G phones and a third of consumers were actually using the 4G network. This means nearly two-thirds of people with a 4G phone are using the services now, compared to just 14 percent two years ago. 

Intention to use 4G services

Telecompaper also asked panel participants whether they plan to start using 4G services. Of those not yet on 4G, 8 percent said they expect to start using the faster services within six months. Another 14 percent expect to adopt 4G in the next year and 15 percent within two years. This means a total 37 percent of consumers expect to switch to 4G within the coming two years, up from from 33 percent a year ago and 31 percent two years ago. Over the same period the share of consumers who say they don't expect to use 4G has fallen, from 44 percent in September 2013 to 41 percent a year later and 34 percent in September 2015.



In the mean time, the new term 4G+ has hit the market. KPN and Vodafone started rolling out LTE-Advanced, also called 4G+, a year ago, and T-Mobile is now starting to test the faster technology. Customers with a category 9 or 10 device will be able to achieve speeds of 450 Mbps with 4G+. 

At the moment most phones come with category 4 or 6 support. This offers speeds of up to 150 Mbps on LTE and 200/225 Mbps on LTE-Ad. The first phones with Cat 9 and Cat 10 chips are expected to reach the market in 2016. 

This research is based on the Telecompaper Consumer Panel. The survey was conducted in September 2015 (n=1,094). Results are stratified according to age, education and gender. For more information about research opportunities with the panel, please contact research@telecompaper.com.

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