XS4ALL, Vodafone take up FTTH, where's Tele2 and T-Mobile Online?

Wednesday 21 September 2011 | 15:41 CET | Market Commentary

KPN's premium ISP XS4ALL has launched triple-play services via the FTTH networks of Reggefiber, following the launch of similar services by Vodafone Netherlands in early September.

Vodafone’s tariffs are just over EUR 5 per month less than what KPN charges for a similar triple-play package. Vodafone charges EUR 49.95 for triple-play with 30/30 Mbps, EUR 59.95 for 50/50 Mbps and EUR 74.95 for 100/100 Mbps. This suggests Vodafone is more interested in targeting the 'average' consumer (see also our commentary: Vodafone well positioned to build market share in the TV world). The fibre launch confirms the mobile operator’s growing focus on the fixed network market in the Netherlands, which started earlier this year with the launch of VDSL services.

XS4ALL’s FTTH offerings focus on the high end of the consumer market and small businesses, similar to its strategy on the DSL market. It offers a triple-play plan with 40/40 Mbps for EUR 65 per month, 80/80 Mbps for EUR 75 and 100/100 Mbps for EUR 95. The higher monthly fees are justified by XS4ALL’s more extensive service offering as well as more e-mail, website and other hosting services included with the broadband connection, for which other Dutch ISPs charge extra. KPN’s lower-end consumer brand Telfort is also testing FTTH services, with a commercial launch expected before the end of this year.

KPN and Vodafone have made a clear choice for broadband over FTTH, while Tele2 Netherlands and T-Mobile Online (formerly Online Broadband) have yet to announce their strategies. Tele2 Netherlands acquired FTTH know-how through the acquisition of BBned in 2010, which includes regional ISP InternNLnet, active on FTTH networks in the east of the Netherlands and parts of Amsterdam. However, Tele2 seems more focused on mobile infrastructure lately (See our background article: Tele2 evolves further, embraces LTE). T-Mobile Online said in 2009 it could launch on the FTTH network in Almere, but has been quiet ever since. 

Both providers have the potential to make something of the FTTH market. T-Mobile Online has done better than expected reselling KPN’s terrestrial TV service Digitenne, winning 15,000 customers in seven months despite Digitenne itself losing customers. Tele2 reports that its triple-play customer base grew faster in the first two quarters of this year than in previous years.

The choice for FTTH shows operators like KPN and Vodafone, and possibly Tele2 and T-Mobile, are starting the long-awaited attack on the Dutch cable operators. The latter have been able to expand their “monopoly” in HDTV and superfast broadband services without real competition for the past three years.

For a more detailed view of the Dutch FTTH market, see our FTTH In the Netherlands 2011 report and visit our Breedband 2011 congress on 12 October in The Hague, where T-Mobile Online will present its strategy.

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