Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/29/2014 -- Despite the lack of growth opportunities in terms of subscriptions, the Netherlands remains a dynamic market with extensive roll-out and uptake of wireless data services. In the wireline segment, the popularity of bundled services in the Netherlands has mitigated the decline in fixed-line subscriptions through fixed-to-mobile substitution. Furthermore, the Netherlands' broadband market is one of the most developed in Western Europe in terms of advanced infrastructure deployment and high penetration of wireline and wireless broadband services.
- Mobile subscriptions contracted by 2.3% to 19.471mn in 2013 as operators forbore from chasing organic growth and instead focused on migrating customers to higher value plans. BMI now forecasts average growth of 1.9% per annum through to 2018.
- Growth in uptake of mobile broadband services slowed in H212 and was variable at best in 9M13 according to data from ACM. Meanwhile, variable xDSL growth was mitigated by strong interest in FTTH. Thus, BMI now forecasts broadband subscriptions to grow by 1.1% per annum through to 2018, reaching a total of 9.218mn.
- Consolidation in the pay-TV sector seems imminent, with UPC set to acquire Ziggo in 2014. Ostensibly, this provides some upside for growth in the pay-TV and multi-play services markets, although we acknowledge that the deal could dilute consumer choice. Nevertheless, incumbent KPN remains a strong and credible multi-play rival.
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Key Trends And Developments
ACM has asked that it be given sole jurisdiction in considering whether to allow UPC to acquire Ziggo. However, the European Commission remains determined to rule over this matter, as it is concerned about the effects of consolidation on consumer choice and investment in the next-generation infrastructure needed to realise its 'Connected Continent' ambitions. With KPN increasing its ownership of regional broadband operator Reggefiber and T-Mobile exiting the fixed broadband business, it is clear that the market is naturally coalescing around the players most suited to long term survival.
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