The penetration of phones and smartphones with 4G support in the Netherlands grew by 5 percentage points year-on-year to 88 percent in the third quarter, according to research by Telecompaper from its Telecompaper Consumer Insights panel. The penetration of suitable 4G telephone and smartphones is important for Dutch mobile providers, as KPN, Vodafone and T-Mobile Netherlands are all planning to scrap the older generations of mobile networks.
Disabling older generation networks
Vodafone wants to start shutting off its 3G network (UMTS network) in January 2020. KPN is planning to phase out its 3G network in January 2022. Disconnection of the 3G network will have virtually no impact because all telephones and smartphones available on the market in the Netherlands have 2G (GSM) support. For consumers who use a telephone without 4G support, they will still be able to call and text via the 2G network. But at the rate things are going, the penetration of telephones and smartphones with 4G support will reach 93-95 percent in 2020.
83 percent of Dutch people use 4G
Compared to the penetration rate of 88 percent for 4G phones and smartphones, the number of Dutch people actually using 4G networks is slightly lower. The Telecompaper survey shows that 83 percent of all Dutch with a mobile connection and suitable telephone have access to a 4G network. This means that 17 percent of the Dutch people still do not use 4G. Some MVNOs still do not offer 4G network access or offer this only for an additional fee.