UPC Netherlands drives Q3 VoIP growth

11 Dec 2007

The overall Dutch consumer voice telephony market increased by 39,000 subscriber lines to 5.69 million in the three months ended 30 September 2007, with much of the growth attributed to rising wholesale line rental (WLR) connections and the increased popularity of cable-based VoIP services. According to Telecompaper, the total number of WLR customers reached 283,000 by the end of the month, thanks to the net addition of 103,000 lines in the period under review. Meanwhile, there were 2.37 million registered VoIP lines, a 7.9% rise on the previous quarter, with cable VoIP accounting for 9.5% of the net gains, compared with 6.4% for DSL-based alternatives. By the start of October the country’s CATV operators commanded 1.178 million VoIP customers, compared with 1.165 million for DSL. Telecompaper forecasts VoIP growth in the fourth quarter will reach 8%, driven by new IP telephony launches from Alice and Telfort, as well as from the cablecos.

Former monopoly fixed line operator KPN controlled an estimated 33.1% of the domestic digital IP telephony market by the end of September, buoyed by the inclusion of Tiscali’s VoIP base. The Netherlands’ new number one cable operator by subscribers, Zesko (the company formed through the merger of Essent@home, Casema and Multikabel), took second spot with 656,000 VoIP users, while UPC was third with 467,000 (43,100 net additions, or 19.6%).

Netherlands, KPN, VodafoneZiggo