NMa reviewing mobile rate increases for big three

12 Mar 2010

Dutch ICT online news journal Webwereld reports that the country’s competition watchdog NMa is examining the new mobile tariffs published by KPN, Vodafone and T-Mobile amid concerns the average 30% rise is too high. The country’s statistics office noted a ‘striking’ increase under the operators’ new fare structure, but at this stage the NMa is only conducting an informal review.

The news of the investigation comes in the wake of a report that the Dutch mobile market generated service revenues of EUR6.5 billion in 2009, up 0.9% year-on-year but below the hike of 2.4% reported in 2008. Telecompaper says the increase was attributable in the main to increased uptake of data or non-voice services which offset a drop in voice revenues. Nevertheless, voice traffic and sales continue to dominate, accounting for some 73% of total service revenue last year. In terms of registered SIM cards, the market recorded a 2% dip to 20.5 million last year, partly the result of an overall decline of 9.7% in the pre-paid user base. In 2009 T-Mobile removed around a million inactive customers as part of its integration of Orange, leading to a small fall in cellular penetration to 123.5% at end-2009. Despite the relatively weak performance in 2009, the forecast for 2010 is that mobile revenues will grow by 1%-2% year-on-year in 2010 to EUR6.6 billion.