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.