Dutch mobile market shifting to unlimited-type subscriptions - Telecompaper

Wednesday 15 November 2017 | 16:01 CET | News
Unlimited mobile internet is the consumer trend for 2018, with other Dutch operators expected to come in the wake of unlimited subscriptions at T-Mobile Netherlands and Tele2 Netherlands. In October alone, 32 percent of all consumers who searched online for a mobile plan clicked on an offer providing unlimited subscription. Since these subscriptions have on average a higher ARPU, this trend will shift mobile revenues towards unlimited, according to market research bureau Telecompaper.

Telecompaper CEO Ed Achterberg spoke at the Telecom Insights 2017 conference in the Hague’s Louwman Museum, saying consumers are looking for ever-increasing data bundles. For example, 7 percent in October opted for a subscription of EUR 70 per month or more, clearly higher than the year before. For the most part, subscriptions of EUR 70 or more come with Unlimited subscriptions: 91 percent in September and 96 percent in October.

Higher spending on mobile subscriptions is linked to people who have more to spend, an interesting target group, according to Achterberg, who looked at what group opted for the rather expensive iPhone X (EUR +1,000). Of all the people who clicked on offers for this latest iPhone online last month, 63 percent were part of that group of people with a subscription of EUR 70 or more.

The bundling of services is also getting more attention, even though multiplay is less about the telephony element. TV and internet are important; less focus is placed on fixed telephony as well as mobile calls. Unlimited mobile calling seems to be the norm except for very price-aware consumers. "It's increasingly about the mix of fixed and mobile integration. FMC now accounts for 34 percent of all bundles and this is clearly growing. Triple-play with fixed services has a share of 52 percent but is traditional and on the decrease," Achterberg said. 

A new kind of multiplay is in the works, with the addition of extra services, Achterberg said. An example of this is the Ziggo Power Promise, where the provider promises to optimize Wi-Fi in the home. "That's new, because until now, operators were reluctant to promise anything beyond the signal in the meter cupboard. But if they do not take this up, then an external party will be used. It is a clear business model. More and more homes are being getting better isolation, making Wi-Fi and mobile signals worse and worse. Solving this for consumers is becoming a good business model." 

Operators are also experiencing more competition for their basic mobile voice service, from applications such as WhatsApp and FB Messenger. This is a reason for operators to focus more on quality, something that consumers are not satisfied about with the mobile apps. Products such as VoLTE and HD Voice must offer quality as a distinction, Achterberg concluded.

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